Test Scores Up, But Too Many Students Left Behind

studenttestingGood News: Test Scores Up!
Bad News: Too Many Students Left Behind

Last week Iowa’s education director, Judy Jeffrey, delivered the sunny side of the student achievement story in Iowa. She left out, however, the cold hard reality that 18 percent of fourth graders, 24 percent of eight graders and 23 percent of 11th graders can’t read. Similar percentages of Iowa students can’t do basic math.

Jeffrey used the Iowa School Administrators’ Annual Conference to preview the official late August release of this state’s NCLB student achievement report card.

The glowing headlines show that ITBS and ITED test scores are up in all but one category. Iowa’s fourth and eighth graders scored better last year in reading and math. Our eleventh graders lost ground in reading but did better in math.

Iowans didn’t get the direct news that 18 percent of fourth graders, 24 percent of eight graders and 23 percent of 11th graders can’t read and similar percentages of Iowa students can’t do basic math.

Iowans didn’t get the direct news that 18 percent of fourth graders, 24 percent of eight graders and 23 percent of 11th graders can’t read and similar percentages of Iowa students can’t do basic math.

Jeffrey did send alarming news about Iowa’s achievement gap. One half of African-American eighth graders and 47 percent of Hispanic eighth graders in Iowa can’t read at a proficient level. However, “only” 22 percent of white students fall into the struggling reader category.

Preliminary Results:

New Student Achievement Data Percentage of Students Proficient Percentage of Students NOT Proficient
4th Grade Reading 81.8% (up 4.3 %) 18.2 %
4th Grade Math 81.7% (up 1.8%) 18.3%
8th Grade Reading 75.2 (up 3.6%) 24.8%
8th Grade Math 77.8 % (up 2.1% ) 22.2%
11th Grade Reading 77.3 % (down 0.1%) 22.7%
11th Grade Math 78.4 % (up 0.5%) 21.6%

The official report to be released later this month will further detail student achievement, attendance and Iowa’s graduation rate.

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Dansette