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October 25, 2022

Iowa School Performance Profiles for 2022

On October 21, 2022, 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 perform on multiple measures, and meets federal and state requirements for publishing report cards. 

Iowa and other states developed systems for school accountability and support following the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA maintains a focus on school accountability and equity for all students while giving states and local school districts more ownership over accountability and support systems. Iowa’s system was developed with broad input, fits the state’s context, and is designed to help schools find solutions that work for them.

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 required by law. Most 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 identified for additional support and improvement based on their performance.

Report cards provide an overall view of school performance and more detailed information. The overall performance includes an overall score and performance rating for all Iowa schools across several performance measures. The rating categories include Exceptional, High Performing, Commendable, Acceptable, Needs Improvement, and Priority. The overall score provides a single number, 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 the performance of students in that school.” In addition to the overall rating, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) performance category identifies struggling schools or underperforming student groups. 

How the Ames District Performed

Based on Iowa’s school accountability system, the Ames Community School District scored similarly to state averages on several key indicators. These include percent proficiency in math and reading on ISASP, post-secondary readiness based on completed college-level coursework, and progress toward ELP composite. Six of our eight schools either maintained or improved their overall rating, and three of our schools (Edwards, Fellows, and Meeker) were removed from the state’s targeted schools list. Ames High School was assigned the Priority School designation. As such, AHS will receive resources from the state and our area education agency.

While these results may not align with Ames High excellence, we do have results to celebrate. AHS scored above the state averages in high school graduation rate, English language arts proficiency, math proficiency, and a post secondary readiness index composite. Despite this, we still have work to do. Our district office and school leaders are working collectively to move Ames forward together to rebuild the foundation of Ames High aiming high. 

What Happens Next?

School districts are responsible for developing and implementing, in partnership with stakeholders, a school-level improvement plan which includes at least one evidence-based intervention. Districts with schools receiving Comprehensive, Targeted, or Extended support must also conduct a resource allocation review, which examines how funds and other resources are distributed across school buildings. 

As a District, we continue to dive into our data and are committed to addressing gaps through systematic change. We look forward to your partnership and welcome feedback in supporting our school, staff, and students. 

To access the Iowa School Performance Profiles, visit