The Governor's Special Assistant for Education

Linda Fandel

Iowa posts slowest education growth in U.S.

July 16, 2012

It’s deeply troubling that a new study of international and state trends in student achievement growth shows Iowa with the “lowest rate of test score gains in the nation between 1992 and 2011,” according to a press release from Education Next.

Iowa had the highest test scores in the country in 1992 among the 41 states studied, but now ranks in the middle of the pack, according to the report, “Achievement Growth: International and U.S. State Trends in Student Performance,” released by Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance. Over that entire period, the study found, Iowa gained “less than one-quarter of a year’s worth of additional learning….”

The study is more evidence that Iowa must shake off complacency and build a consensus for how to give our students a globally-competitive education. Iowa has a strong foundation to build upon, but many other states and nations have moved faster to improve the quality of education.

The Aug. 3 Iowa Teacher and Principal Leadership Symposium will examine how to better use the talents of outstanding educators to improve instructional practices and raise achievement.

This report should lend a sense of urgency to the discussion.

Read “Achievement Growth: International and U.S. State Trends in Student Performance.”

Learn more about the Iowa Teacher and Principal Leadership Symposium.

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