Intersect Working Papers
Achievement Gaps in Iowa (2011-07-19) - 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.
- NCLB Growth: Are non-proficient students making progress toward proficiency?
- What about the students who are already proficient?
- Does their growth continue?
Impact of High School Students' coursework on their ACT Scores (2011-05-03) 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.
Are Proficient Students Growing? An analysis of 2009 Iowa Growth Data (2010-04-28) 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.
Iowa High School Graduation Rates - The NGA Adjusted Rates Calculation (2010-04-21) 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.
Characteristics of Districts with No Dropouts (2010-04-21) 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.
Growth by Curve, Not the Cut (2010-04-21) 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.
Transition to the Middle School Building (2010-04-21) 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.
Impact on Race and Ethnicity Identification (2010-04-21) 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.
Iowa Schools in Need of Assistance (SINA): Six-Year Trend (2010-03-03) 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.
Iowa's Growth Model Incorporated into Decisions about Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) (2009-10-27) This study summarizes Iowa’s use of an approved growth model as part of the decision process for determining Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Results for two years (2006-2007 and 2007-2008) are presented, along with the effects of using the growth calculations on AYP decisions for districts and schools.
Iowa NAEP Results 1990 to 2007: The Rest of the Story (2009-09-15) This study examines the class size component of The Iowa Early Intervention Block Grant Program (Iowa Code 256D). Using building-level cohort data, the relationship between class size and student achievement (reading and math test scores) in early elementary grades in Iowa is explored with no significant relationship found. However, among a sample limited to buildings with high populations of free or reduced price lunch eligible students, a negative non-linear relationship exists.
Class SIze in Elementary Grades: Effects on Student Achievement in Iowa (2009-09-15) This study examines the class size component of The Iowa Early Intervention Block Grant Program (Iowa Code 256D). Using building-level cohort data, the relationship between class size and student achievement (reading and math test scores) in early elementary grades in Iowa is explored with no significant relationship found. However, among a sample limited to buildings with high populations of free or reduced price lunch eligible students, a negative non-linear relationship exists.
District Expenditures and Student Achievement: A Follow-Up Study (2009-09-15) The Iowa Department of Education (IDE) completed a follow-up study examining the relationship between test scores and per pupil expenditures. A previous study completed by the IDE revealed an inverse correlation between district per pupil expenditures and average test scores of 11th grade students. Unlike the earlier study, this follow-up study found no correlation between average district achievement levels and per pupil expenditures.
Iowa's Growth Model Incorporated into Decisions about AYP (2009-09-15) Iowa’s growth model acknowledges the hard work teachers invest in meeting the learning needs of non-proficient students. This study looks at Iowa’s use of an approved growth model for determining Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
The Relation Between District Size and Student Achievement: Summary (2009-09-15) The question is constantly asked: “What sized district produces the best student achievement?” This Iowa Department of Education study shows there is more to student achievement than the number of students in a district.
District Characteristics: What Factors Impact Student Achievement (2009-09-15) Can a “perfect” district be organized in Iowa when it comes to impacting student achievement? This study looks at district characteristics that are associated with success on statewide-standardized tests.
Comparison of Performance on NAEP Mathematics Released Questions: Iowa and the Nation (2009-02-02) The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) indicates that Iowa students in grades 4 and 8 comprehend numbers and operations better than their national counterparts. Other areas are not as dramatic.
Early Career Retention in Iowa (2009-02-02) A teacher shortage exists in Iowa. This study looks at the trends in teacher retention.
High School Graduation Rate - A Proposed Model for Graduating Class 2008 (2009-02-02) Graduation rate is one of the most important indicators used to measure high school success. This study examines the differences between current and proposed formulas for determining graduation rates.
Statement Regarding the Public Release of Data: Cautions about Interpretation (2009-02-02) This report provides information on the requirements regarding the release of data.
Relationship Between the Pattern of Mathematics and Science Courses Taken and Test Scores on ITED for High School Juniors (2009-02-02) This Iowa Department of Education study show students who took at least one higher-level mathematics course or science course perform better on statewide tests than their peers who did not.
The 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in Mathematics and Per-Pupil Expenditure (2009-02-02) When compared with states with similar education spending, this study reviews Iowa’s ranking on NAEP results.
Teacher, Principal and Superintendent Salary Review 2002 to 2007 (2009-02-02) Iowa ranks 38th nationally in teacher salary compensation, the lowest quarter of all states. This study looks at what, if any, impact the Student Achievement and Teacher Quality Program has had on teacher salaries.
National Assessment of Educational Progress 2007: National and Iowa Socio-Economic Gaps by Location (2009-02-02) The Iowa Department of Education study attempts to answer the question, “Is there a difference in the gaps in the achievement for student with different socio-economic levels between schools classified as central city, urban fringe, and rural?”