64% of Iowa schools don't meet federal requirements - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

64% of Iowa schools don't meet federal requirements

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

Nearly two-thirds of Iowa kids aren't performing at the level they should be under the No Child Left Behind Act, according to a new report from the Iowa Department of Education.

The law requires at least 94 percent of students to be proficient in reading and math for their grade level. However, 64 percent of Iowa schools don't meet that federal requirement.

No Child Left Behind sets the standard for every school in the nation, and that raises a prominent question -- can the same standard really apply to every school?

Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck said the law is not perfect and he would like to see some changes.

"There are pieces we would like to see stay in place -- accountability measures, the focus on educating all kids -- I mean, those pieces are valuable and have been good for kids," Buck said. "I think what we'd be looking at: Could there be more emphasis on student growth?"

He expressed uncertainty about the law and said change is needed since the number of disadvantaged students varies from school to school.

Other Iowa educators, however, think the notion of a "one size fits all" law simply doesn't work. Many Iowa schools believe in the goal of getting students to learn more, but hesitate to think the same standard is applicable in all cases.

The law will require 100 percent of students to be proficient in reading and math for their grade level by 2014. Buck said under that standard, a majority of students will likely fail in at least one of those goals.

State officials applied for a waiver to No Child Left Behind, but the request was denied.

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