Smaller, Smarter Government Bills Introduced in the House
Smaller Smarter Government is catching on all over the capitol. Our weekly bible study even addressed smaller and smarter government. This week, members of the House Republican caucus began introducing legislation aimed at making government smaller and smarter. Here are some highlights:
House File 1
Establishes an ongoing review of all state programs to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. This bill would also require reauthorization of all government programs every 5 years to make certain that programs are still needed and serving their intended purpose.
House File 3
Limits the government’s ability to enact burdensome occupational licensing barriers that make it harder for Iowans to work in certain jobs and careers.
House File 20
Protects Iowa’s students from sexual exploitation by a school employee.
House File 28
Requires high schools to teach financial literacy courses to better prepare Iowa’s students following graduation. These types of classes will promote important skills and concepts for adult life like money management, college planning, savings and investments, credit and debt, and insurance coverage.
House Joint Resolution 1
Protects the privacy and liberty of Iowans by extending Fourth Amendment protections to Iowans’ electronic communications and data.
Iowa School Report Card Updated with New Features
The Department of Education this week released a new Iowa School Report Card and details on new features.
A web-based system that evaluates and rates public schools based on their performance on a required set of measures, the Iowa School Report Card was developed as a requirement of HF 215 in 2013, the Education Reform Bill. The goal is to provide transparency through meaningful information available to parents, the community, and the state on the performance of individual schools.
Available at www.educateiowa.gov/schoolreportcard, the Report Card assigns schools one of six ratings: Exceptional, High-Performing, Commendable, Acceptable, Needs Improvement, and Priority. Schools are grouped by comparable grade configurations (elementary, middle and high schools).
The ratings are based on each school’s performance over a two-year span on the following educational measures:
·Proficiency: The percentage of students scoring proficient or better on state reading and mathematics assessments.
·College and Career-Ready Growth: The percentage of students who are making the year-to-year growth necessary to be ready for college and career training by the end of high school.
·Annual Expected Growth: The percentage of students making a year of academic growth in a year’s time on state reading and mathematics assessments.
·Closing Achievement Gap: A measure that reflects a statewide goal of narrowing the gap in achievement for students with disabilities, students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals, and English Language Learners.
·College and Career Readiness: The percentage of students who score at or above a level of performance on reading and mathematics assessments that predicts a higher probability of postsecondary success. (Middle/high schools only.)
·Graduation Rate: The percentage of ninth-grade students who finished high school within five years. (High schools only)
·Attendance: The average daily attendance of students, which is the total number of days students were enrolled and present divided by the total number of possible attendance days.
·Staff Retention: The percentage of teachers, school administrators and other licensed staff members who remained employed in a school over consecutive school years.