May 17, 2022

Iowa’s education system running a con

US News has recently reported on their latest findings with regard to high schools around the country. The media in Iowa have reported a handful of what they say are the top high schools in the state. What the media is failing to report is that the rankings are partially premised on the results of state assessments — with no mention of the standards being used by each state. Iowa, for example, fails to use national standards. Its low standards inflate the results, giving the impression a good job is being done when, in fact, that is not the case. When states had to choose a starting point for standards in 2001 to receive federal education money, Iowa negotiated 40th NPR (National Percentile Ranking), when the national standard was 65th NPR. In twenty years, Iowa has failed to raise this standard.

The Iowa education system continues to run this con on the public, hoping a majority lack sufficient thinking and problem-solving skills to figure this out, because the decades of using low standards results in lower thinking and problem-solving skills. The previous US News report on education pointed out that Iowa graduating seniors rank 40th in the country in thinking and problem-solving skill sets at graduation. The con on the public and taxpayers will continue as long as the media aids and abets in this con, and a sufficient percentage of the public fails to recognize it.

Sue Atkinson