Editor’s note: IowaWatch in a year-long investigation found that although each state is required to identify the bottom-scoring 5 percent of Title I schools every three years, it doesn’t mean these schools are “failing,” as some Iowa policymakers label them. Iowa’s 34 schools are on a “comprehensive” list. IowaWatch is featuring some of them. Baxter Community School in central Iowa may be small, with preschool through 12th grade all under one roof, but it is also a top choice for those living in surrounding communities. “As many as one-fourth of our population is open-enrolled into our district,” said Principal Jason Aker.
These 34 schools are on the state comprehensive list. They are the Title I schools that score in the bottom 5 percent in the state based on students’ performance on the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress test, and/or for high schools, have a graduation rate below 67.1 percent. This allows them to get additional funds and support. Baxter Elementary, Baxter Community School DistrictBlack Hawk Elementary, Burlington Community School DistrictSunnyside Elementary, Burlington Community School DistrictJames Wilson Grimes School, Burlington Community School DistrictCedar River Academy at Taylor, Cedar Rapids Community School DistrictCharter Oak-Ute Elementary School, Charter Oak-Ute Community School DistrictIowa Virtual Academy, Clayton Ridge Community School District (Guttenberg)Mid City High School, Davenport Community School DistrictFrank L. Smart Intermediate, Davenport Community School DistrictMadison Elementary School, Davenport Community School DistrictMonroe Elementary School, Davenport Community School DistrictKing Elementary School, Des Moines Independent Community School DistrictGoodrell Middle School, Des Moines Independent Community School DistrictHiatt Middle School, Des Moines Independent Community School DistrictHarding Middle School, Des Moines Independent Community School DistrictMoore Elementary School, Des Moines Independent Community School DistrictLincoln Elementary School, Dubuque Community School DistrictFulton Elementary School, Dubuque Community School DistrictDurant Elementary School, Durant Community School DistrictEast Sac County Elementary, East Sac County Community School District (Sac City)West Elementary School, Emmetsburg Community School DistrictEssex Elementary School, Essex Community School DistrictGeorge Elementary School, George-Little Rock Community School DistrictLittle Rock Elementary School, George-Little Rock Community School DistrictRogers Elementary School, Marshalltown Community School DistrictAnson Elementary School, Marshalltown Community School DistrictRuthven-Ayrshire Elementary School, Ruthven-Ayrshire Community School DistrictSouth Page Senior High School, South Page Community School District (College Springs)Sylvia Enarson Elementary School, Villisca Community School DistrictExpo Alternative Learning Center, Waterloo Community School DistrictGeorge Washington Carver Academy, Waterloo Community School DistrictFred Becker Elementary School, Waterloo Community School DistrictHawarden Elementary School, West Sioux Community School DistrictIreton Elementary School, West Sioux Community School District
Source: Georgetown University’s Edunomics Lab. These numbers are from the 2018-2019 school year, which is the most updated per pupil data they have.