Intersect Working Papers
Provides Iowa-specific research on education issues published by the Iowa Department of Education.
Gaps exist in the achievement of Iowa students. In 2010, the percent of all students in grade four enrolled for full academic year (FAY) scoring proficient, as measured by the Iowa Tests, was 78.5 percent. The percent of Black (54.5 percent), Hispanic (61.2 percent), free or reduced lunch eligible (66.6 percent), or English Language Learner (ELL) (51.3 percent) students was considerably less. Similarly, in eighth grade mathematics, the percent of all students enrolled for full academic year scoring proficient was 76.5 percent. Again, the percent of Black (45.9 percent), Hispanic (59.9 percent), free or reduced lunch eligible (62.1 percent), or ELL (41.5) students was significantly less. The achievement gap is defined as the observed difference on a number of educational measures between the performance of groups of students, especially groups classified by race/ethnicity, ability, and socioeconomic status. The achievement gap in Iowa can be observed on a variety of measures, including standardized test scores, grade point average, dropout rates, and college-enrollment rates. While most of the data presented in this article comes from Iowa, gaps exist for these groups throughout the United States.
Context: • NCLB Growth: Are non-proficient students making progress toward proficiency? • What about the students who are already proficient? Does their growth continue?
ABSTRACT—Student level data were used in this study to examine the relationship between student performance on ACT Mathematics and course-taking in mathematics. The purpose is to tease out earlier achievement, coursework and later achievement. In order to achieve the objective, students’ ninth grade ITED Mathematics results four years prior were used as a baseline measure to control for achievement levels and subsequent course-taking patterns were assessed to determine the impact on ACT scores. An effort was made to study the education opportunities and outcomes of students from different subgroups and schools in different sizes. The results support that higher level mathematics courses taken has a strong impact on ACT Mathematics scores for all students in study across all achievement levels.
Purpose—Iowa has used a No Child Left Behind (NCLB) growth model since 2007. 2009 was the first time that growth data for three years have been included in making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) decisions for schools and districts. The NCLB growth model project focuses only on students who are not proficient in a previous year, and remain non-proficient in a subsequent year. They are counted as meeting growth, and thus AYP, when they make significant progress toward becoming proficient. What remains is the lingering question of “What about the students who are already proficient?” As it is important to study the academic achievement gains of non-proficient students, to make sure they are on track to becoming proficient, it is equally important to study the academic achievement gains of students who are already proficient, to make sure they are improving in their own learning. Thus, this analysis is a study of the academic achievement improvement of students throughout the proficiency spectrum.
Background—The Iowa Department of Education (IDE) has collected individual student level data since 2004-2005 through Project EASIER (Electronic Access System for Iowa Education Records). In the EASIER system, each student has an assigned unique state student identification number.