Submitted by Muscatine Community School District

The release of the Iowa State Report Card ranking public school attendance centers was seen as an important benchmark for the Muscatine Community School District. The report card highlights the difficulty that higher poverty school districts have in providing the learning supports needed to improve student performance for at-risk students.

The chart below shows the performance of Muscatine students in the state categories of gap and non-gap students and the percentage of at-risk students in high performing schools. The gap students are those identified as being in poverty, special education students, or English language learners. The non-gap student performance for the Muscatine Community Schools compares with several of the state’s attendance areas that would be considered more affluent and having additional resources.

The Muscatine Community Schools sees the report card as a call to action for the state to address the issue of providing additional learning supports for higher need districts. The Muscatine Community School District does not avoid accountability or the need to improve student performance. The student performance results indicate the district is making progress for students. The district is awaiting a request made to the Iowa Department of Education asking for a list of schools that are performing at the two highest rankings that have an at-risk population over fifty percent. This will provide a resource to study what other districts are doing to address those students with significant learning problems.

Superintendent Riibe appreciates the effort teachers and principals do to support students that come from challenging situations. “I applaud the work our staff does for our mission of ensuring educational excellence for every student.”

It is not enough that Muscatine Schools’ non-gap student performance is on par. The district wants all students to learn at a high level. The information contained in the state report card will be a resource for the Iowa legislature to address how to best support students struggling to overcome learning barriers. The call to action that the state report card provides will be an important evaluation of how well schools and the state address high need students.