With 4 metro areas in top 15, new study dubs Iowa ‘land of the learned’

Date: 
November 16, 2017

Iowa took four of the top 15 best places to be a teacher, according to a new study that also dubbed the state “land of the learned.” Cedar Rapids ranked No. 2, Omaha-Council Bluffs ranked No. 4, Des Moines-West Des Moines ranked No. 6 and Davenport-Moline-Rock Island ranked No. 14.

SmartAsset, a personal finance technology company, analyzed data for nine metrics in 133 metro areas to determine the rankings. The metrics were: average incomes, income growth, employment growth, spending per student, union strength, housing costs, high school graduation rate, proficiency rates in math and English and violent crime rates.

The study’s data showed Cedar Rapids has the third-highest proficiency score in reading and math. The metro also has a top 20 score for lowest violent crime rate and housing costs are $869 per month.

In Omaha-Council Bluffs, teachers’ incomes rose 16 percent from 2014 to 2016. The number of teaching jobs in the metro area grew around 5 percent. The metro also had a student proficiency rate of 75 percent in combined average math and English scores.

In Des Moines-West Des Moines, about 90 percent of students graduate from high school. The area’s proficiency score is 78 percent. For both of those metrics, Des Moines-West Des Moines ranks in the top 25. The number of teaching jobs grew more than 13 percent from 2014 to 2016.

Last year, Iowa earned only two spots in the top 15 best places to be a teacher.