Council Bluffs, Iowa
The GLR Campaign recognizes Council Bluffs, Iowa, as a 2016 Pacesetter for reporting population-level, measurable progress in school readiness, summer learning and overall grade-level reading for children from low-income families.
From spring 2014 to spring 2016, Council Bluffs Community School District saw an increase in the percentage of children meeting kindergarten readiness criteria, from 82.2% to 92.7%. The percentage of second graders improving their reading proficiency levels over the summer increased from 7.7% in 2015 to 12.5% in 2016. There was also an increase in the percentage of third-grade children reading at the proficient level on the Formative Assessment System for Teachers, from 28.7% in 2014 to 44.4% in 2016. Council Bluffs is also recognized for its work on scale and sustainability. It has incorporated a number of effective practices for data tracking and sharing, including the use of the Clear Impact scorecard. In addition to using technology to support efforts to drive with data in its planning, Council Bluffs has championed the use of technology through BLink (Bluffs Community Wi-Fi), a free community Wi-Fi initiative, and the promotion of reading applications such as Ready Rosie.
Council Bluffs also has made efforts to focus on some of the most vulnerable populations in the community, centering new literacy efforts on children with incarcerated parents, those living in foster care settings, English language learners and those in permanent supportive housing programs.