Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

  • The Iowa Department of Education today released new online reports showing how public schools performed in a new accountability system that meets the Every Student Succeeds Act, a federal education law that replaced the No Child Left Behind Act.

    What is ESSA?

    The Every Student Succeeds Act, signed in 2015, replaced the No Child Left Behind Act (enacted in 2002). It maintains a focus on equity for all students, while giving states and local school districts much more ownership over systems of school accountability and support. In Iowa, ESSA has been a great opportunity to build on bold education improvements under way that align with ESSA requirements, including clear and rigorous standards for what students should know and be able to do, a school accountability system that targets support where and when schools need it most, and a structure for professional learning that emphasizes teacher leadership and evidence-based practices.

    ESSA requires states to publish report cards reflecting the performance of the state, schools and school districts. Iowa's online report card is called Iowa Performance Profiles. 

    Iowa School Performance Profiles (New Report Card)

    The new reports, called the Iowa School Performance Profiles, include each school’s scores on a set of accountability measures. The reports display scores based on a school’s overall performance, as well as the performance of subgroups of students, such as children from low-income backgrounds.

    Common Questions: Iowa School Performance Profiles Released January 2020

    Identification of Iowa Schools for support and improvement is based on these measures:

    • Student Participation on State Assessments: Requires a minimum of 95% of a school's enrollment participate in annual state assessments.
    • Academic Achievement (measures the following):
    • Proficiency: Percentage of students in a school who are proficient in math and reading based on assessment results.
    • Average Scale Score: Information about the average performance of students in reading and mathematics in a school.
    • Student Growth: Measures overall student growth by looking at student percentiles and determining whether the student is meeting or exceeding growth targets.
    • Graduation Rate (high schools): Determines percentage of students who graduate from high school in four or five years.
    • Progress in Achieving English Language Proficiency: Measures a student's progress in obtaining English language proficiency across the domains of reading, writing, listening and speaking.
    • Conditions of Learning: Measures a school's safety, engagement and environment based on a survey of students in grades 5 through 12.

    The new accountability system emphasizes student growth as measured by results on state assessments from year to year. This approach was based on feedback from Iowans who wanted a change from a previous federal accountability system that emphasized proficiency.

    NOTE: The Iowa School Performance Profiles are different from the Iowa School Report Card, developed in 2015 to meet a state legislative requirement. In 2019, the Iowa Department of Education will work to update data in the Iowa School Report Card and then merge the site with the Iowa School Performance Profiles. The goal is to ensure the state has one report card that meets both state and federal requirements.

    Source IDE News Release and websites 12-18-18.