Intersect Working Papers
Provides Iowa-specific research on education issues published by the Iowa Department of Education.
Iowa is one of the five states in the Nation that has a low dropout rate. Iowa’s dropout rates have been less than 2 percent for grades 7-12 and less than 3 percent for grades 9-12 (see Figure 1) since 1998. However, each year the total number of dropouts was over four thousand from grades 7 through 12 in Iowa. The current study seeks answers for the following questions: Are students more likely to drop out from some schools than others? Is a zero dropout rate possible for a school district? Are same dropout rates for students in different demographic groups? The main focus of this paper is the characteristics of the districts with no dropouts. Iowa data support two facts: 1) a zero dropout rate is possible and, 2) Iowa has 20 to 30 percent of the districts with a zero dropout rate in each of the last eight years.
Abstract—A norm-referenced growth model using growth percentiles is proposed. A caveat of criterion-referenced growth models are they tend to only capture the growth of students whose achievement are around the cut points. In the proposed model, student growth is explored as current achievement relative to student with identical prior achievement.
Abstract— The effect of middle school building transitions on academic achievement in Iowa is examined. A two year matched cohort difference-in-difference model shows building transitions having a negative effect on achievement for grades 5-8. A five year match cohort group multi-level multiple regression model demonstrates transitions at different times, multiple transitions (two), and the lasting effects of transitions on achievement through eighth grade. Effect of building transitions varied depending on the grade level at which the transition occurred. Over half of Iowa students transition to middle school at sixth grade and a negative relationship exists between building transition at sixth grade and test scores. School districts need effective ways to lessen the effects of middle school building transitions on academic achievement.
In 1997, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) revised the standard of classifying race and ethnicity for federal data. These new standards separated race and ethnicity and also allow respondents to choose more than one race. States must report using the new guidelines by the 2010-2011 school year. Iowa implemented the changes for the 2009-2010 school year, re-identifying all students in the fall of 2009.
The purpose of this project was to build a historical record of schools and districts placed on the SINA list, in accordance with NCLB. Such a record provides a tool to monitor trends in the number of schools and districts not meeting AYP requirements for two or more years. A secondary purpose was to build a timeline of significant events in Iowa’s AYP history, which will establish a context for interpreting the historical trend.