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Iowa school districts fall short of federal requirements

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After the Iowa Department of Education released its state report card, results show that some Iowa-side Quad Cities districts didn’t quite make the mark.

According to the State Report Card for No Child Left Behind, some federal standards have not been met among Quad City area districts, causing them to receive a “district in need of assistance” result. The 2013 report card was released on Tuesday, September 24, 2013.

Scored on math and reading proficiency, the following community school districts were identified as a District in Need of Assistance (DINA) in one or both categories- Burlington, Clinton, Davenport, Maquoketa, Mount Pleasant, Muscatine, and North Scott. Scores are based on the previous year’s performances, and Bettendorf has been removed from the DINA list, meaning the district met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for two years in a row.

According to the released report card, several of these districts have been identified as DINA for more than one year. Click here to view all State Report Cards that Iowa has released.

Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck said that 64-percent of the state's schools missed AYP in reading and math participation and proficiency; this is an increase from 52-percent the previous year.

Buck said he believes the "one-size-fits-all" federal requirements are not what schools need to improve.

"No Child Left Behind’s arbitrary rules fail to recognize that students come to school with different starting points." said Buck. "The rules also fail to reward schools that are making progress with the most disadvantaged students.”

No Child Left Behind results are based on testing subgroups of students in grades 3-8 and 11. According to a statement from the education director, these subgroups include socio-economic status, limited English proficiency, race/ethnicity and special education.

“Our schools have work to do, but we need an accountability system that supports and dignifies the hard work and commitment of the education professionals who serve our students every day,” Buck said.