The achievement gap between students at Norwalk Middle School who tend to lag behind their peers academically and the rest of the student body widened by 6.7 percentage points over the past three years, according to a Norwalk Times analysis of the latest Iowa schools report card.
The achievement gap charts the performance of students who either receive free or reduced-price lunches (FRL), have an individualized education program (IEP) or are considered English language learners (ELL) compared to the other students at their schools.
Each year, Iowa public schools are evaluated based on several metrics, including proficiency, graduation rate, annual growth, college readiness, attendance and staff retention, among others. The combined scores of each metric yield an overall ranking: exceptional, high-performing, commendable, acceptable, needs improvement and priority.
Norwalk Middle School was ranked 'commendable' in 2017.
To determine the achievement gap, proficiency in both math and reading among students is assessed for the three latest years.
In 2017, the three groups had a proficiency rating of 65 percent, while the rest of the student body had a proficiency rating of 95.1 percent. The resulting achievement gap of 30.1 percent compares to 22.7 percent in 2016 and 23.4 percent in 2015.
Norwalk Middle School's closing gap score was 43.7, which was less than the state average of 50 percent.
Achievement gap at Norwalk Middle School