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Iowa Department of Education releases new school performance results

Date: Tuesday, December 14, 2021

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Education today released new results and features in an online school accountability reporting system called the Iowa School Performance Profiles.

The Iowa School Performance Profiles website shows:

  • Updated scores and ratings for all public schools based on how they performed on a set of accountability measures in the 2020-21 school year.
  • Postsecondary readiness indicators for public high schools based on student participation and scores on college entrance exams, participation in postsecondary or advanced coursework and percentage of students who are focused on career and technical education within one of six service areas defined in Iowa Code 256.11(5)h.
  • The ability to search and compare school building, school district and state-level performance data.
  • Additional data that are required by law but do not count toward accountability scores.

Of particular note is that while the performance scores and rankings have been updated for all public schools, no new schools have been identified for additional support and improvement. The U.S. Department of Education waived this requirement for the 2020-21 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools previously designated for additional support will continue with their current designations.

“This is an important tool for families, educators and other stakeholders to understand how their schools are performing and to help determine next steps for moving forward,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo. “The Iowa School Performance Profiles can assist communities in data-driven decision-making, but it doesn’t tell the whole story about our schools. It’s important to understand the challenges brought on by the pandemic, and to take that into account when looking at the 2021 performance scores.”

The latest scores reflect results of the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP), which all 327 public school districts administered last spring. A remote online testing option was made available in 2021 for students who were enrolled and unable to test at school. Since remote assessments were not proctored, the results are not included in the average school achievement scores. About 3.4 percent of all tested students took the ISASP remotely.

Between 2019 (the last time that the ISASP was administered) and 2021, the number of schools in the Exceptional category decreased by six and the number of schools in the High Performing category decreased by 26. Conversely, the number of schools in the Needs Improvement and Priority categories (the lowest two categories), increased by seven and 21 schools, respectively. When comparing performance scores from 2019 to 2021, it is important to take into account the disruptions the COVID-19 pandemic had on schools during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years.

The Iowa School Performance Profiles, launched in 2018, meets state and federal requirements to publish report cards reflecting the performance of all public schools.

For more information, visit