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Three local districts have schools on Iowa’s lowest-achieving list

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Some schools in Davenport, Clinton and Muscatine districts are among those listed as the persistently lowest-achieving schools in Iowa.

“All states were asked to identify their persistently lowest-achieving schools in order to receive (federal) School Improvement Grant funding,” said a post on the Iowa Department of Education website.  Those grants are aimed at schools with the greatest need and the strongest commitment to improving student achievement. The grants are part of No Child Left Behind.

Identifying low-achieving schools is the first step in applying for the extra funding.  Schools then must declare, in March, their intent to apply for the grant, and complete the grant applications by mid-May.  Applications must include the district’s detailed plan for improving achievement. Plans could include major staff overhauls, changes the organizational structure of a school or both.  In some cases, districts could even elect to close under-performing schools and enroll the students in higher-achieving schools.  Schools on the current low-achieving list must implement their chosen plan by the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.

Persistently low-achieving schools in Tiers I and II have graduation rates below 60% and fewer than 67% of students demonstrating proficiency in math and reading for three years in a row.

Schools on the Tier I list are among the lowest 5% in terms of achievement.  The current list of 13 Tier I schools in Iowa includes Monroe Elementary in Davenport.

Tier II schools are similarly situation to Tier I but are in the lowest 10% for achievement.  The Tier II list of 17 schools includes Washington Middle School in the Clinton Community School District and West Middle School in Muscatine.

Tier III schools fall in the lowest 20% for student achievement.  The 12 Tier III schools in Iowa include Smart Intermediate and Jefferson Elementary schools in Davenport.

This was a repeat appearance on the list for Smart Intermediate, which was listed as a Tier I school for the 2011-2012 school year.