(VIDEO) Senate approves comprehensive education reform
On Monday, April 9, after several days of debate, the Iowa Senate approved Senate File 2284, comprehensive education reform that will raise academic standards, help educators improve, and use innovation to increase student achievement.
Debate video includes:
- Opening comments by the bill’s floor manger, Sen. Herman Quirmbach of Ames
- Working alongside Iowa education reformers every day: Sen. Tod Bowman of Maquoketa, a high school teacher
- Iowa education naysayers: “What Iowa are you looking at?” Sen. Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids
Senate Democrats and most Iowans share Governor Branstad’s education goals: raising academic standards, improving the effectiveness of educators, and using innovation to enhance learning.
Here’s the real challenge: Choosing the best ways to reach our goals and then making reform happen.
The Democratic members of the Senate prepared for this session by visiting schools and listening to parents, educators, students and concerned Iowans. When the session began, we brought some of those local Iowans, along with state and national experts, to testify at our Senate committee meetings.
The results are reflected in Senate File 2284, this year’s education reform legislation. The key elements include:
- Focusing on early reading and small class sizes in the early grades so teachers can help struggling students catch up.
- Helping students to learn at their own pace. Those who master the basics quickly should be helped to move ahead as far as they can in the subjects they love most.
- Expanding the core of classes to include arts, music, and technology. Meeting the challenges of the 21st century will require a well-rounded education that goes beyond the three “Rs.”
- Helping teachers improve their skills by making time for more teacher-to-teacher collaboration and classroom coaching.
- Using the best online learning resources to enhance and expand course offerings in our local schools.
- Local pilot projects to extend the school year and school day to measure the impact on student achievement.
- Intensifying connections between schools and the families of struggling students.
Senate Democrats want to build on what our schools do right and improve in the areas where we can do better.
Videos:Posted Apr. 9th, 2012 at 4:49 pm by Senate Intern
Tags: education reform