Measuring Up



Iowa

Not scored

See a summary of the state’s charter law.

See additional observations about charters in the state and recommendations to support the growth of high-quality charter schools.

What is the state of charter schools in Iowa?

GROWTH INDICATORS

 

 

Score


1. Public school share
 (2013–14)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter schools

3

0.2%

 

 


2. Public school student share
 (2013–14)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter school students

315

0.1%

 

 

3. Students by race and ethnicity (2012–13)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

White

40%

80%

-40%

Black

34%

5%

29%

Hispanic

16%

9%

7%

Asian

1%

2%

-1%

Other

10%

4%

6%

Total minority

61%

20%

41%

 

4. Students in special populations (2012–13)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

Free and reduced-price lunch status

78%

24%

54%

Special education status

N/A

N/A

N/A

English learner status

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total special student populations

78%

24%

54%

 

5. Schools by geographic distribution (2011–12)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

City

0%

17%

-17%

Suburb

0%

5%

-5%

Town

20%

23%

-3%

Rural

80%

54%

26%

Total nonsuburban

100%

95%

5%

 

6. Communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools (2012–13)

N/A

weight = 1 | Possible total = 4

 

 

 

Number of communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools

0

   
 

7. New public charter schools opened over the past five years  (2009–14)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2009–10

0

Average Annual Open Rate

3.6%

2010–11

1

2011–12

0

2012–13

0

2013–14

0

Total number

1

 

 

 

 

8. Public charter schools closed over the past five years (2008–13)

N/A

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2008–09

0

Average Annual Closure Rate

18.2%

2009–10

1

2010–11

2

2011–12

3

2012–13

0

Total number

6

 

 

 

 
 

INNOVATION INDICATORS

 

 

Score

9. Public charter schools reporting use of various innovative practices (2011–12)

N/A

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

 

 

 

Extended day (30 minutes or more each day compared to traditional public schools)

100%

Average

83%

Extended year (10 or more days compared to traditional public schools)

100%

Year-round calendar

100%

Independent study

0%

School-to-work

100%

Higher education courses

100%

 
 

QUALITY INDICATORS

 

 

Score

10. Additional days of learning in reading (2007–11)

N/A

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in reading

 

 

 

 

11. Additional days of learning in math (2007–11)

N/A

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in math

 

 

 

Items Reported But Not Scored

Startups versus conversions (2012–13)

 

Startups

Conversions

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools

0%

100%

 

 

 

Public charter schools that are independent, associated with a CMO, or associated with an EMO (2010–11)

 

Number

Percentage

 

 

Independent

8

100%

 

 

Charter management organization

0

0%

 

 

Education management organization

0

0%

 

 

 

Charter authorizers (2013–14)

 

Number of authorizers

Number of charter schools

Average number of charters per authorizer

Percentage of the state’s public charters authorized by this type of authorizer

Local education agency

3

3

1

100%

State education agency

Independent charter board

Noneducational government entity

Higher education institution

Nonprofit

 

Virtual public charter schools and students (2012–13)

Number of virtual public charter school students

0

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter school student population enrolled
in virtual charter schools

0%

 

 

Number of virtual public charter schools

0

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools that are virtual charter schools

0%

 

 

 

Health of the Movement Summary

A state’s public charter school movement had to meet two conditions to be scored and ranked in this year’s report. First, the movement had to serve at least 1 percent of the state’s public school students. Second, the state had to participate in the Center for Research on Education Outcomes’ (CREDO) 2013 National Charter School Study so that we had a measure of student academic growth data for its public charter schools in comparison to its traditional public schools. Iowa’s charter school movement did not meet either condition. Therefore, we did not score and rank Iowa’s public charter school movement in this year’s report.

However, we provided the data we were able to gather below. Based on this information, we offer the following observations:

  • In 2013–14, there were three public charter schools and 315 public charter school students in Iowa, constituting less than 1 percent of the state’s public schools and less than 1 percent of the state’s public school students, respectively.
  • Public charter schools in Iowa served, on average, more racial and ethnic minority students (41 percentage points more) and more free and reduced-price lunch students (54 percentage points more) when compared with traditional public schools in 2012–13.
  • One hundred percent of the state’s public charters were located in nonsuburban areas in 2011–12 as compared to 95 percent of traditional public schools.
  • One new public charter school opened in Iowa between 2009–10 and 2013–14, an average annual open rate of 3.6 percent.
  • Six public charter schools closed in Iowa between 2008–09 and 2012–13, an average annual closure rate of 18.2 percent.
  • An average of 83 percent of the state’s public charter schools reported using one of the six innovative practices that we tracked in 2011–12.
  • In 2012–13, all three of the state’s public charter schools were conversions, meaning there were no startup charters in the state.
  • In 2010–11, all eight of the state’s public charter schools were independently managed, meaning none of them were associated with a nonprofit charter management organization or a for-profit educational management organization.
  • In 2013–14, only local school districts were allowed to authorize in the state. As of that year, three had done so.
  • There were no virtual public charter schools in Iowa during 2012–13.

Recommendations

Iowa has very small populations of public charter schools and public charter school students. To better support the growth of high-quality public charter schools, we encourage the state to change its law to create additional authorizing options, strengthen accountability, increase operational autonomy, and ensure equitable operational funding and equitable access to capital funding and facilities.