Iowa's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 1,491
Public school teachers 34,791
Pre-K-12 students 481,226
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $3.7 billion
Minority students 12%
Children in poverty 12%
Students with disabilities 13.3%
English-language learners 3.2%

Summary of Grades

Iowa scores above the national average on two of the four graded categories of education policy in Quality Counts and at the national average in teacher quality. But it is last in the nation for standards and accountability.

Iowa receives by far the lowest grade of any state in standards and accountability. Iowa is the only state that has not adopted state standards in any of the four core subjects. The state also loses points on the assessment indicators because it lacks assessments aligned to state standards.

Iowa fares better in teacher quality, partly because the state does very well on indicators related to professional support and training for teachers. It is one of only 15 states to require and finance mentoring for all novice teachers.

In the school climate category, Iowa ranks above average. It performs particularly well on indicators related to engagement, class size, and school size. A far higher percentage of students in the state attend smaller schools than in the nation as a whole. Class size in Iowa’s elementary schools is also below the national average.

Iowa receives one of the highest grades in the nation on resource equity. Its score on the wealth-neutrality measure indicates that poorer districts in Iowa receive about the same amount of per-pupil funding as wealthier districts.

State Policy Report Card
Iowa Avg. State Score
Standards and accountability F B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality C+ C+
School climate B- C+
Resource equity B+ C
Overall Grade C- C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 7.5 40
Assessment 4.09 30
School accountability 21 30
33 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 31.15 35
Teacher assessment 19.2 30
Professional support and training 20 20
Accountability for teacher quality 8.55 15
79 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 15 15
School safety 16.33 20
Parent involvement 12.6 15
Choice and autonomy 15 20
Class size 8.32 10
School size 10 10
School facilities 5 10
82 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 33.33 33.3
McLoone Index 28.33 33.3
Coefficient of variation 27.33 33.3
89 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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