Intersect Working Papers
Provides Iowa-specific research on education issues published by the Iowa Department of Education.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.