January 17, 2017

Ames students surpass state peers in College Readiness Report

Ames High School students are more prepared for success in postsecondary education and training than their peers in the state and the region, according to a new state website announced by Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today.

The Post Secondary Readiness Report shows that 83 percent of students who graduated from Ames High School enrolled in a postsecondary institution within one year of graduation, compared to the state average of 71.1 percent and the Heartland area schools average of 72.7 percent. Ames High School students enrolled in remedial math and English courses at a lower percentage than their state and regional peers, as well. Just 10 percent of Ames High School students enrolled in remedial courses within a year of graduating from high school compared to 16.1 percent  of Heartland area students and 23.2 percent of students statewide.

Ames High School’s results exceed the Governor’s Future Ready goal for 70 percent of Iowans in the workforce to have postsecondary education or training beyond high school by 2025.

The Postsecondary Readiness Report is a collaboration among the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Workforce Development and the Board of Regents. The report is based on data from 2011-12 through 2013-14. Although the findings show the majority of Ames High School students are college and career-ready based on state criteria when they graduate, the data are at least three years old, says Ames High School Principal Spence Evans, and they don’t reflect the school’s more recent changes in instruction and interventions.

“In recent years, Ames High School has launched new evidence-based instructional practices and improved its use of student achievement data to support students and close achievement gaps,” Evans said. “Teachers in Professional Learning Communities use their own observation and data from assessments to identify which students need intervention or enrichment. Besides providing Additional Instruction, the school has a built-in Plus period providing targeted assistance to students during the school day.”

Statewide and individual school results, as well as more information about the Postsecondary Readiness Reports website. The reports represent the first time the state has provided comprehensive information about student postsecondary enrollment and preparedness that can be connected to every public high school in Iowa. The web-based tool provides information on enrollment in colleges and universities, remedial course-taking rates in key content areas of reading and mathematics, and postsecondary retention and completion rates for students who graduated from public high schools in Iowa, statewide and by Iowa high school.