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Iowa Rising to Greatness 082111

Iowa Rising to Greatness 082111

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Published by Patrick Hogan

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Published by: Patrick Hogan on Nov 10, 2011
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Rising to Greatness
 An Imperave for Improving Iowa’s Schools
 
Table of Contents
Frwrd 3
Introducon4
A prud pat 5That wa thn. Thi i nw. 6Acadmic achivmnt mut imprv 8if Iwa tudnt ar t cmptTh majrity f Iwa tudnt ar undrprfrmin 15Hih chl ACT prfrmanc hw prmi 16Rac, pvrty, and diability ap: 18Lar, pritnt, and unaccptablIwa v. th wrld: I Iwa d nuh? Nt yt. 22
Collegedegreeaainmentbelowaverage24
Cncluin 26
References/Citaons27
Acknwldmnt 28 
2011 | RIsINg To gReATNess
2
 
Foreword
InadvanceoftheGovernor’s2011SummitonEducaon,Iampleasedtopresentthisreport,
Rising to Greatness: An Imperave for Improving Iowa’s Schools,
t th ppl f Iwa. Whn
IrstcametoIowainJanuary2011,GovernorBranstadgavemeabold,perhapsevenaudacious,goalashisStateDirectorofEducaon:
Do what it takes to return Iowa to rst in the naon, if not rst inthe world, in educaonal quality.
Thi al will nt b accmplihd thruh mall and incrmntal
nkeringwiththestatusquo.Agoallikethisrequiresmeaningfulchangeandthecouragetodothingsdierentlythanwehaveinthepast.Iowa’seducaonsystemoncestoodastheenvyofeverystateinthenaonandofmanycountriesaroundtheworld.Usingpraccallyanyquanablemeasureofexcellence,Iowawasattheapexofeducaonalachievementfordecades.TheschoolsysteminIowamagnicentlyfueledthestate’seconomywithskilledfarmers,factoryworkers,sciensts,knowledgeworkers,andentrepreneurs.
W mut hnr th trmndu wrk f th wh cam bfr u, wh put in plac th trn
foundaonsonwhichwenowbuild.Whileitisimportantnottooverlyromancizethepast,itisimportanttonotethatIowahasatradionofexcellenceineducaonarguablyunmatchedbyany
thr tat in th unin.
Byandlarge,thepresentsystemofeducaoninIowaremainsgood.Highschoolgraduaonratesarenear90percent,IowafrequentlyperformsnearthetopofsomenaonalmeasuressuchasACTresults,andIowa’sschoolsserveasthefoundaonalbedrockofsomanycommuniesacrossthestate.Acorestatevalueof“equity”isapparentinthestate’sfundingmodel,thequalityofschoolfacilies,generallybroadaccesstotechnology,andthestatewidecommitmenttoprovidingahigh-qualityeducaonalsystemregardlessofifastudentlivesinacity,suburbanarea,orsmalltown.Iowaalsohasanothersignicantstrengthtobuildon
itspeople.Iowansconnuallydemonstrateacommitmenttosupporngtheirschools,andeducaonprofessionalsthroughoutthestatearededicatedandincredibly
carin, talntd ppl. Thr i trmndu capacity in thi tat frm which t build.
So,Iowa’sschoolsaregood,butaretheygreat?Thefutureofourschools,ifnotourstateandevenournaon,willdependonourcollecvewillingnesstoengageinthehardworknecessarytomakedramacimprovementstoeducaon
t hav ur chl rifrm d t rat.
TodaywestandatanimportantdecisionpointforIowa.Thekeyquesonwefaceis:“ArewewillingtodowhatwillbenecessarytomakeIowa’sschoolsgreat?”ArewewillingtoconfrontthefactthatIowa’sstandingasaneducaonleaderisnowquesonedasourresultshavestagnated,whileotherstateshaveaccelerated?Arewewillingtotackletheevenmorevexingandtroublingissuethatothernaonshaveacceleratedpastus?Oursuccessinimprovingourschoolsbeginsbyconfronngtherealitythatsomethingmustbedone.Thisreportdoesnotintendtopointtheblameatanyperson,group,organizaon,orinstuon.Weshouldallequallyshareinthehistoricalsuccessesourschoolsenjoy―butwearealsoallculpablefortheircurrentshortcomings.MakingrealimprovementstoIowa’sschoolswill
tak vryn.
Theintentofthisreportistospurconstrucveandhonestdebateintheserviceofimprovement.Ifullyexpectthosewhoadvocateprotecngthestatusquoto,almostreexively,riseupinitsdefenseandaempttodismissorunderminethefactspresentedhere.Ialsofullyexpectthosewhoseektopressthepolicsof“blameandshame”totryandusethisreportasaweaponagainstperceivedenemies.Wemustsummonandlistentothe“beerangelsofournature”andresistbothoftheseapproaches.Tolerance,pragmasm,reason,
hnty, humility, and lv mut b th valu n which w cm tthr t build thi mvmnt t imprv ur chl.
EveryonewantsabeerfutureforIowa’skids.
Inthedaysahead,wewillworktogetheronconstrucngthebestpathforwardtoimproveIowa’sschools.Theworkwillbehard,andatmesitmayfeelasifwehavelostourway.ButbyrelyingonIowa’sproudtradionofexcellenceineducaon,drawingonthetremendousexisngcapacityinourstate,anddreamingtogetheraboutwhataworldclassandtrulygreatschoolsystemmightbe,wewillemergewithourplantomeetthataudaciousgoalofbeingthebesteducaonsysteminthenaonandtheworld.Withrespectandadmiraon,JasonE.Glass,Ed.D.StateDirector,IowaDepartmentofEducaon
Jason E. Glass, Ed.D.
2011 | RIsINg To gReATNess
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