Our Opportunity, Our Iowa

I watched Governor Branstad’s Condition of the State speech this morning.  Unsurprisingly, education is one of his top three priorities.

The Governor referred to a “truly transformational education system” at the outset of his speech and stated that teachers are not the problem, but that they are stuck in a 20th Century system.  The outlines for the education reform proposal are largely familiar for those following Iowa education issues.

Reporters noted that the audience was unusually quiet for a Condition of the State speech.  There was no applause for the Governor’s proposal to replace allowable growth (which causes some property tax increases) with one hundred percent state aid.  No further details were provided today (strings attached?) and some are unhappy that the Governor wants action on achievement-driven reform before allowable growth is set this session.


One thought on “Our Opportunity, Our Iowa

  1. Dr. Trace Pickering

    When are we going to quit focusing on “achievement” as the sole measure of a person’s worth and move to “learning” which is truly the goal. Criterion-referenced tests, expectations of actually demonstrating competency of content and concepts, and measuring schools on the 2 measures Gallup has found are greater predictors of academic and life-success: hope and engagement? How the game is scored is the largest determining factor of how a system will behave and so long as we only measure “achievement” we are still playing the old sort-and-select game. The Governor recognizes that we need to redesign our 20th century system but seems stuck in the belief that standardized test scores of academic achievement remain THE only indicator that “counts”. To test or not to test, that is not the question – its getting really clear on what well-rounded learning is and then finding the best surrogates for measuring it that we can – some clearly quantitative and others qualitative. I’m for learning-driven transformation!

    Thanks, Karen.

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