(The Center Square) – Most of Iowa’s 1,295 public schools ranked commendable or acceptable in the annual performance rankings, with nearly 15% ranking near the bottom, according to Iowa School Performance Profiles released Thursday.
The annual report shows only 21 schools ranked as “excellent.” Hopewell Elementary School received the highest mark, scoring 76.53 out of 100.
One-hundred and fifty-five schools were ranked high-performing.
Most schools, 39.38% were giving commendable ratings and another 32.20% ranked acceptable, according to the report.
Forty-five schools were ranked priority, and 147 were listed as needs improvement. The number of schools in the two categories decreased by 0.3 percentage points, according to the DOE.
“Our performance profiles provide critical information for families, educators, and communities on how our schools are serving all students,” said Iowa DOE Director McKenzie Snow. “We celebrate the hard work of schools to accelerate student learning and improve their ratings, while focusing on what we need to do to best serve students most in need of support, especially students with disabilities.”
The department also released the schools that need targeted assistance and support, according to the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, also known as ESSA. Schools in the extended comprehensive/comprehensive category rank in the lowest 5% of Title I schools, have a graduation rate of less than 1%, and have a subgroup performing in the lowest 5% of Title I schools in the index score, according to the DOE. Thirty-two schools are in this category.
Another 468 schools were identified as targeted based on the ESSA criteria.
“Of the 468 total schools currently identified in need of targeted assistance and support, nearly half of all were identified because their students with disabilities performed below the level of the lowest 5 percent of all schools,” the DOE said in a news release.