IOWA SCHOOLS: No Child Left Behind Report

The Iowa Department of Education released its annual report card on Friday.

The annual report card showed, the number of Iowa schools that don’t meet federal goals jumped 55 percent.

Director of Education, Jason Glass says the results are due to higher expectations set by the no child left behind act.

“The calculation method that we’re using is unfairly, penalizing schools that are making a lot of progress with kids,” says Director of Education Jason Glass.

Glass says the federal guidelines don’t factor in student growth.

In the Des Moines district alone, two dozen schools showed improvement, but due to increasing federal standards, that improvement wasn’t recognized.

“We’re showing a lot of student progress in a lot of different ways but because of the way the federal law is set up you don’t get any credit for the good work that is done,” says Phil Roeder with Des Moines Public Schools.

Roeder says it’s frustrating to grade a school based on one test, when teachers are introducing new ways to help students every year.

“There are lots and lots of other tools and innovations that we can use to help students that quite frankly at the end of the day is more important than any no child left behind list might say or not say,” says Roeder.

Once a school is deemed underperforming, it is subject to penalties including informing parents, allowing students to transfer, converting into a charter school and even closing down, glass says these guidelines need to change or every school could end up on this list.

“I think this is just an unfortunate consequence of a misguided federal policy that we have to deal with,” says Director Glass.

The state hopes to see the numbers improve or even level off next school year because the state received a temporary one year waiver from the no child left behind requirements.