State issues 'report cards' on area schools
The New Hampton School district received mixed grades from the Iowa Department of Education’s third annual Iowa Report Card, made public last month.
All three New Hampton public schools were better than the state average in most categories this past school year, as the high school saw a small uptick in its overall grade, the middle school saw a slight drop, and the elementary school saw a big boost in the positive direction.
The Iowa School Report Card is a web-based ratings system to show how each public school is performing on certain educational measures. Schools receive a score for each measure, and then the scores are combined into an overall score. The grades are updated annually to reflect the most recent statewide student assessment results. School ratings are based on data from the 2016-17 and 2015-16 school years. This is the third year the department has issued school report cards.
Statewide, 20.5 percent of Iowa public schools received a higher overall rating than last year, while the rest stayed the same (50.9 percent) or received a lower rating (28.6 percent).
“These results reinforce the need to continue moving forward with the bold education initiatives Iowa has put in place to strengthen instruction and prepare students for success in high school and beyond,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said. “It’s encouraging that we’ve made significant progress statewide in improving the reading skills of children in kindergarten through third grade, as shown on early literacy screening assessments given three times a year. I’m also proud that Iowa continues to lead the nation in high school graduation rates.”
The school ratings are composed of a combination of multiple measures included to calculate an overall score for each school in Iowa. Each of the measures gets calculated as a value between 0 and 100 and is then multiplied by a weight amount, producing a percentage score for each measure.
Overall rankings include ‘Exceptional” (71 and above), “High-Performing” (68-70.9), “Commendable” (64-67.9), “Acceptable” (57-63.9), “Needs Improvement” (53-56.9), and “Priority” (0-52.9).
New Hampton High School rated as “Acceptable” with an overall rating of 63.3 points, up more than two points from last year’s 61.1 rating. The school received high marks for proficiency, which is described as a school’s success at meeting sufficient performance level benchmarks in reading and math. Eighty-four percent of New Hampton High School’s students met or exceeded proficiency targets, which is nearly six percentage points above the state average.
New Hampton High School was also rated slightly above the state average in the “closing the achievement gap” for students who are eligible for tree-or-reduced priced lunches, students with an individualized education program and students participating in the English language learners program.
For more of this article, see Friday's Tribune.