Once again Iowa’s graduating high school students ranked number two in the nation after the state of Minnesota. Iowa students earned an average composite score of 22.2. The national average was 21.0. A perfect score on the ACT is a 36.The 2010 high school class left better prepared for college than the 2009 class predecessors, and their ACT scores remained second-highest in the country.

In 2008 the Iowa Legislature passed SF 2216 that boasted Iowa’s Core Curriculum by upping the standards of graduating high school students. Three years after the Legislature raised standards in schools to boost student achievement and ensure kids are prepared for jobs in today’s global economy, the Iowa Board of Education gave unanimous approval at their July 29th meeting to combine Iowa’s Core standards with a multi-state effort to develop a “Common Core” standard.

The Iowa Department of Education’s review of the new national model of education standards shows they are aligned with 88% of Iowa’s standards for math skills and concepts addressed in the Iowa Core. In literacy or English language arts, 84% of the skills and concepts addressed in the Iowa Core are also covered in the Common Core.

The Common Core State Standards were developed to be aligned with college and work expectations, to include rigorous content and skills, and to be internationally benchmarked. The Common Core State Standards initiative encompasses standards for English, language arts, and mathematics.