In case you missed it, the following editorial, by Dr. Dean Meier, Chief Administrator, ran in the Mason City Globe Gazette, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier and Marshalltown Times-Republican recently.
When was the last time you heard a piece of really good news? If itâ€™s been awhile, then this column is for you.
Over the summer, Iowa received some great news about how students are performing. On August 13, Governor Culverâ€™s office announced that Iowa students ranked second in the nation in ACT scores. ACT is an achievement test designed to measure the skills and knowledge that are taught in schools and deemed important for first-year college students to possess. It is administered in all 50 states and is widely regarded as a key indicator of a stateâ€™s education success. Roughly 60% of graduating Iowa seniors took the exam in 2008.
A few weeks later, it was announced that Iowa students ranked first in the nation on the SAT. While fewer students take the SAT (roughly 3%), the results indicated that especially in areas like reading and math, Iowa students are outperforming their peers.
If that isnâ€™t enough for you, you should note that in June, the United States Department of Education determined that Iowa is meeting all of the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B and Part C, which is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. The IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to the 72,000 plus eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities. Iowa was one of only eight states to receive the â€œmeets determinationsâ€ requirement. Each Area Education Agency in Iowa also gets judged on specific indicators, and Area Education Agency 267 (AEA 267) met and passed the test with flying colors.
What does all of this have to say about Iowa education? Clearly, schools in Iowa are meeting the challenges of todayâ€™s student and should be applauded for their efforts. Iowaâ€™s Area Education Agencies are standing firmly in partnership with Iowaâ€™s children, families and educators providing leadership and support to assist in making it happen. Based on an Iowa Department of Education survey of educators given last spring, nearly 80% said AEA 267 staff members provide services that directly improved the achievement of their students. Thatâ€™s proof enough for us.
While there will always be room for improvement, there is plenty to celebrate in our stateâ€™s education today. Share the good news!