(Des Moines) A new Iowa Education Department reports this week that math and reading scores have dropped for Iowa’s fourth- and eighth-grade students.
The Des Moines Register reported that fourth- and eighth-grade reading scores declined by 5.4 percentage points and 8.5 percentage points, respectively, from the 2009-11 period to the 2011-13 periods. Scores in both subjects had risen for 11th-graders.
Iowa Department of Education Officials states that the decline on state exams for elementary and middle school kids is a concern. They blame rising child poverty and a test format change as contributors to the decline, but that they can’t explain the dips.
Iowa’s State Board of Education plans to review the report at a meeting scheduled Jan. 23.
The report also revealed that the state’s student population is diversifying. One out of every five students in K-12 grades identifies as a racial or ethnic minority and a little over 40 percent of students qualify for free or reduced meals.
Officials say there are achievement initiatives in the works, such as teacher leadership programs in some school districts.
January 17, 2014