Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa
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Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

January 2, 2019 Highland schools score well on tests
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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ARTICLE DESCRIPTION:

For several years, school districts had to report to the public on student achievement as required by the No Child Left Behind Act.

The goal of No Child Left Behind was for school districts to reach 100 percent proficiency standards in math and reading scores across the nation.

It became clear after a number of years that the goals and objectives of No Child Left Behind were good in theory, but unrealistic. Eventually every school district in the country was going to be a “school in need of assistance” because 100 percent proficiency was not sustainable or achievable every year.

The Every Student Succeeds Act was created to replace No Child Left Behind. School districts annually are scored based on participation rate, proficiency scores, growth from year to year, achievement and results from a “Condition for Learning” student survey.

Each school building is given a score based on a formula from these factors. Schools that are being targeted for assistance are determined by these items. Schools could be targeted based on low scores or achievement gaps in categories such as special education students, low-income students or minority students.

Scores for every school building in the state are made available to the public beginning the week of Dec. 17, and individuals can see comparisons for themselves.

I am pleased to let you know that Highland Elementary, Middle School and High School did very well on these scores. We do not have a building or sub-group to report as being below minimum levels.

I also did a comparison to how we did with neighboring schools (Mid-Prairie, Hills Elementary, Lone Tree, Columbus Community and Washington.)

The purpose of this comparison is not to make it a competition. All of the schools listed are excellent schools. The purpose is to be sure that we are holding our own against schools in our area with strong reputations.

We live in an area of the state where high expectations for student achievement are expected, and it is important that we are meeting those expectations. I am pleased to say that we rank at the top or near the top in each building group in our area.

For the elementary level, schools in the local group scored between 48.53 up to 54.98 (Hills Elementary). Highland Elementary scored 53.49, which is the second highest among the area schools. Highland Elementary reported 100 percent participation and scored above the state average in the growth category in math, 56 compared to 50. Highland Elementary scored as a “high-performing school” on the 2018 Iowa Report Card last spring, which rates in the top 13 percent in the state

On the middle school level, the range in our area was 50.69 up to 58.51 (Highland Middle School was the highest). Highland Middle School reported 100 percent participation. Highland Middle School scored an 83.7 percent math proficiency, well above the state average of 78.26. Highland Middle School also scored above the state averages in growth scoring 59 in reading and 51 in math compared to state averages of 50 each.

Highland Middle School also scored above the state average in math achievement at 50.85. The Condition for Learning score of 49 was above the state average of 47.46. These results are very satisfying.

Area high schools scored in a range from 50.65 to 56.31 (Mid-Prairie). Highland High School reported a score of 53.06, right in the middle of the pack with the third-ranked score. The proficiency scores of 80 in reading and 85.26 in math are both above the state averages. Highland High School also scored very well and above state average in the Conditions for Learning at 55.

The results for Every Student Succeeds Act in the state of Iowa are available for public viewing. You can see every school building score across the state. Residents of the Highland Community School District can feel good that their students are doing well on these standardized test in all grade levels.

The district continues to show growth and improvement and is working on being even better in the future. The Iowa Report Card will come out sometime early in the spring.

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