Iowa Proficiency Rates 2013

The DE has released the 2013 Condition of Education Report.

Proficiency rates have dropped from the 2009-2011 biennium to the 2011-2013 biennium as follows:

  • (p. 119) 4th grade reading went from 80.0 to 74.6 percent proficient
  • (p. 126) 8th grade reading went from 74.3 to 65.8 percent proficient
  • (p. 139) 4th grade math went from 80.7 to 77.8 percent proficient
  • (p. 146) 8th grade math went from 76.7 to 73.9 percent proficient

On the bright side, proficiency rates increased from the 2009-2011 biennium to the 2011-2013 biennium for 11th graders as follows:

  • (p. 133) 11th grade reading went from 77.8 to 82.7 percent proficient
  • (p. 151) 11th grade math went from 77.4 to 81.7 percent proficient

There has been some chatter on Twitter about whether proficiency rates for these two biennia can be compared.

The DE did not draw lines connecting the current biennium data to the historical data and included the following note at the bottom of each figure:

The 2011-2013 biennium data were based on the new Iowa Assessments and 2010 national norms while the other biennium periods were based on the ITBS/ITED A/B forms and 2000 national norms.

However, as noted previously on this blog’s proficiency page, the Iowa Testing Program mapped the 2000 national percentile rank cut scores for proficiency reporting onto the Iowa Assessments’ standard score scale, establishing standard score scale cut scores that are equivalent to the 41st and 90th national percentile rank cut scores from 2000.

In other words, the most recent proficiency rates should be comparable to prior biennium. See more on this from the Iowa Testing Program here and here.

As for what we can make of the changes (up or down) in the proficiency rates with regard to any particular education policy, I haven’t any idea.