How are we improving Iowa education?
The first is education reform. This session, we’re building on Iowa’s tradition of excellent local schools by working to raise academic standards, increase the effectiveness of educators, and provide for innovations that enhance learning. Senate File 2284 was developed with the help of parents, teachers and students, as well as state and national experts.
While differences in the House and Senate approaches to education reform remain, we’re working to find common ground on:
• Establishing annual teacher and administrator evaluations
• Expanding the educational standards and key concepts students should know
• Competency-based education that allows students to learn at their own pace and advance quickly in subjects they enjoy
• Creating higher requirements for students entering the teaching profession
• Helping principals put more focus on improving teaching rather than non-educational administrative duties
Second, basic state funding for local school districts must be reliable and adequate to meet needs. In the Senate, we’ve approved a 4 percent increase in basic state support for local schools for the 2013-2014 school year. These dollars are used for textbooks, heating bills, technology and other necessities so that students, teachers and schools can be successful.
Iowans expect and want great local schools. The state budget has recovered and it’s time to help our schools do the same. Unfortunately, the House is again insisting on no new funding for local students.
Third, we must ensure that all Iowa students are good readers by third grade. This is a centerpiece of the Governor’s reform proposal that I wholeheartedly support. Class size affects student success, especially when children are learning to read.
We need to continue efforts to limit class sizes for kindergarten through third-graders by extending Iowa’s Early Intervention Block Grant Program—more commonly known as the “class size reduction” program—so that students get the one-on-one attention they need to get a good start in school.Posted May. 5th, 2012 at 9:09 am by Senate Staff
Tags: allowable growth, class size reduction, education reform