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February 25, 2022

Iowa Department of Education releases Iowa School Performance Profiles (2021)

On December 13, 2021, the Iowa Department of Education released updates to its online school accountability reporting system called the Iowa School Performance Profiles. The website shows how schools are performing on multiple measures and meets federal and state requirements for publishing report cards. 

The Iowa School Performance Profiles include scores and ratings on a set of accountability measures, such as student growth and graduation rate, and additional data that are required by law but do not count toward school accountability scores. The majority of the scores are drawn from the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP), ELPA21, and the Conditions of Learning survey. The website also specifies schools that have been identified for additional support and improvement based on their performance.

Report cards provide an overall view of school performance as well as more detailed information. The overall performance includes both an overall score and performance rating for all Iowa schools across a number of performance measures. The rating categories include Exceptional, High Performing, Commendable, Acceptable, Needs Improvement, and Priority. The overall score provides a single number which is the sum of the measures. The Department of Education notes that the rating category “provides a snapshot of school performance, but may not tell the entire story about performance of students in that school.” In addition to the overall rating, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) performance category identifies schools that are struggling or who have student groups who are underperforming. 

How the Ames District Performed

The Ames Community School District scored at or above the state average on a number of key indicators. Some of those include graduation rate, percent proficient in math and reading on ISASP, and post-secondary readiness based on completed college-level coursework. All schools increased their overall score compared to the previous year, with two schools rated as high performing, three schools rated as commendable, and three rated as acceptable. Targeted status means that index scores for specific subgroups in those schools fell within the bottom 5% of schools. Across the District, one area that consistently scored below the state average is the average student growth percentile in reading and mathematics on ISASP. 

To access the Iowa School Performance Profiles, visit

What happens next?

As a District, we continue to dive into our data and are committed to addressing gaps through systematic change. We will continue to partner with Heartland AEA to review our MTSS processes and move forward with our action plans at a building and district level. While the performance rankings are new, we have been using the ISASP, ELPA21, and Conditions for Learning surveys that form the basis of these rankings for our action planning all year.