Waterloo Schools Improve Statewide Ratings
posted on Monday, August 19, 2019 in The Cedar Valley Community
Schools here in the Cedar Valley are only days away from opening their doors and starting a new school year. This year the Waterloo Community School district is seeing some good improvements on their own report card. Eleven of the 18 Waterloo Community School buildings have shown improvements on a statewide rating system.
Original Article Written by Andrew Wind, Education reporter for the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier
Schools are tracked on seven measures: participation in assessments, academic proficiency, student growth, progress in achieving English language proficiency, academic achievement, conditions for learning and graduation rate. Based on that performance, the Iowa Department of Education gives one of six ratings from priority to exceptional. Rating assignments are determined by where each school falls on a 100-point scale.
The ratings, once part of the Iowa School Report Card, were updated earlier this year to add 2018 data. They are now included with the state’s accountability standards in the online Iowa School Performance Profiles, which can be found for any public school at iaschoolperformance.gov. The measures used in the ratings are similar but not identical to what they were in the past.
Superintendent Jane Lindaman believes the method of calculating the ratings “is becoming more comprehensive,” providing a more accurate picture of achievement in Waterloo Schools. “The other side is we are just doing better,” she said, noting literacy and math achievement have increased on statewide assessments.
Seven district schools moved into the top half of the ratings categories, where there were none for the prior year. Highland, Kingsley and Orange elementary schools are in the high performing category. East and West high schools, Hoover Middle School, and Lou Henry Elementary are in the commendable category. Highland, Kingsley, Orange and West moved up two categories.
Kittrell, Lincoln and Lowell elementaries moved into the acceptable category while Dr. Walter Cunningham School for Excellence moved into the needs improvement category. Fred Becker Elementary School and George Washington Carver Academy dropped a category to priority. Ratings of the five other district schools remained unchanged.
Cedar Falls ratings
Cedar Falls Community Schools also saw movement on the ratings, with three buildings going up and three going down. Holmes Junior High moved into the high performing category while Cedar Heights and North Cedar elementaries moved into the commendable category. Southdale Elementary dropped into the commendable category while Lincoln Elementary and Cedar Falls High School dropped into the acceptable category.