Differentiated Accountability (DA) System is Iowa’s accountability model designed to provide support for public districts, accredited nonpublic schools and area education agencies (AEAs) when and where they need it most. The DA model is built to support compliance with state and federal law as well as build capacity in five conceptual areas (healthy indicators) essential to continuous improvement in education:

  1. Assessment and Data-Based Decision-Making
  2. Universal Instruction
  3. Intervention System
  4. Leadership
  5. Infrastructure.
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Continuous Improvement

DA supports continuous improvement with protocols to examine data and facilitation guides to dig into a deeper level of diagnostics for the system. Protocols and facilitation guides are intended to be used in the context of the Collaborative Inquiry Questions with leadership teams and with meaningful inclusion of teacher voice and perspective. The most recent materials and resources can be found on the ESSA Support Site. The resources on the ESSA Support Site are aligned with the required and optional school improvement components for schools in Iowa's ESSA Plan.

  • ESSA Data Review
  • SAMI
  • Universal Tier Tools
  • Intervention System
  • More Resources; Collaborative Inquiry Questions
Health indicators chart: Asessment and data-based decision making, universal instruction, intervention system, leadership, and infrastructure
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Universal Desk Audits

Public school districts, preschool programs, and accredited nonpublic schools submit a universal desk audit information yearly for compliance with state and federal legal requirements. If needed, further compliance review through a more detailed desk audit, remote interview, or on-site visit is conducted at a targeted or intensive level.

Universal desk audit information is submitted to the Department through the Consolidated Accountability and Support Application (CASA) from Sept. 15 through Dec. 15 of each year.

For questions on the AEA, K-12 Public School District or K-12 Nonpublic School desk audit, contact your School Improvement Consultant.

Preschool Desk Audits

Contact Mary Breyfogle at 515-326-1030 with questions.

Preschool Desk Audit Slide Decks

The Universal Preschool Desk Audit requires the submission of evidence for ten items related to the implementation of the Iowa Quality Preschool Program Standards or IQPPS. The following slide decks highlight what is necessary for each of the ten items:

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