DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Education released the new Iowa School Performance Profiles, which includes new state school performance ratings and federal designations.

The website shows:

  • Schools that have been identified for additional support and improvement based on their performance to meet requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
    • Of the 468 total schools currently identified in need of targeted assistance and support, nearly half of all were identified because their students with disabilities performed below the level of the lowest 5 percent of all schools.
  • Updated scores and state school performance ratings for all public schools in Iowa based on how they performed on multiple measures, including student proficiency and growth, in the 2022-23 school year.
    • Ratings range from exceptional (highest performing), high performing, commendable, acceptable, needs improvement, and priority (lowest performing).
  • Additional data beyond that included in the school performance ratings, including educator effectiveness and per pupil expenditures.

“Our performance profiles provide critical information for families, educators, and communities on how our schools are serving all students,” said Iowa Department of Education Director McKenzie Snow. “We celebrate the hard work of schools to accelerate student learning and improve their ratings, while focusing on what we need to do to best serve students most in need of support, especially students with disabilities. Together with our school partners, the department is targeting resources to support school improvement achieved through high-quality instruction and interventions.”

This year, 134 additional schools were identified as in need of targeted assistance and support (targeted schools) based on the performance of and achievement gaps experienced by a subgroup of their students (students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals, English learners, students with disabilities or students by racial/ethnic group). Targeted schools are identified annually and are part of a three-year cycle during which they implement a plan for improvement with the support of the Department of Education.

Schools are identified for comprehensive support (comprehensive schools) once every three years. No new comprehensive schools were identified since the 32 schools identified last year are in their second year of state support and assistance. These schools represent the lowest five percent of all Title 1 public schools, as well as schools with graduation rates lower than 66 percent, based on the overall performance of their students. Title 1 schools typically serve high numbers or percentages of children from low-income backgrounds.

In addition to the federal ESSA accountability designations, state school performance ratings provide an overall score and performance rating for all Iowa schools across a number of performance measures. The overall distribution of schools by rating category changed only slightly from last year, with 94.2 percent of schools remaining unchanged or only shifted by one category. The Commendable category saw the highest increase (2.9 percentage points), while the High Performing and Exceptional categories changed by less than a percentage point. The share of schools in the bottom two rating categories (Needs Improvement and Priority) decreased by 0.3 percentage points combined. More schools moved into the upper half of the rating system (53%) compared to the prior year (51%).

The Iowa School Performance Profiles, launched in 2018, meets state and federal requirements to publish report cards reflecting the performance of all public schools.

For more information, visit

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