Education & Schools
Statement by Chris Bern, President of the Iowa State Education Association PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Jean Hessburg   
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 07:48

Statement by Chris Bern, President of the Iowa State Education Association

on Iowa's Application for a Waiver to the No Child Left Behind Law

DES MOINES, IA (02/28/2012)(readMedia)-- At this time, the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) is not signing on in support of Iowa's application for a waiver to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law. While we understand the need to move away from the one-size-fits-all approach to testing and school accountability under NCLB, the ISEA still has questions about the specifics of this application that need to be addressed.

One area of concern for educators is tying student achievement data to teacher evaluations. As frontline professionals, our members need to be at the table when those decisions are made and the state should be cautious when proceeding with this large policy shift.

In addition, we are concerned that implementation of the waiver application will require resources and education funding decisions are still a long way off in the legislative session. From its inception the education community has realized that NCLB did not provide states the resources to meet the demands of the law. As Iowa applies for the waiver, we do not need to trade in one unfunded mandate (NCLB) for another.

The ISEA remains deeply committed to the success of every child and is ready and willing to work with all of the partners in the education community; teachers, administrators, parents, and policymakers, to ensure our education policies place students at the center. Until our members have had adequate time to review and contribute to the NCLB waiver discussion, the ISEA will not be lending its support to Iowa's application at this time.

The ISEA is a private, professional organization made up of over 34,000 educators who are dedicated to promoting and preserving public education for all Iowa students. Great Education. It's an Iowa Basic.

 
Braley Statement on Closure of Price Lab School PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 14:32

Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement after the Iowa Board of Regents voted to close the Malcolm Price Laboratory School in Cedar Falls by June 30th:

 

“It’s a sad day when state funding cuts force a choice between keeping a university functional and keeping a special school like Price Lab open.

 

“At a time when politicians talk endlessly about education reform, closing a top-notch, nationally recognized school that actually walks the walk on educational innovation is the wrong thing to do.

 

“Iowa’s economic success depends on our ability to properly educate a new generation of teachers and innovators.  There is no innovation without education.  We should be investing in and improving education for our kids – not closing our best schools.”

 

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Local Student Honored in National Education Publication PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Rachel Chamberlain   
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 14:31

Raising money for (and assisting in) obstetric surgery in Zambia, Africa. Founding a music program for kindergarteners and first graders that holds concerts on a regular basis, including one for former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Creating a film on childhood obesity that is used to kick off First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign. Organizing an art auction featuring nationwide artists to fight for clean air in a community affected by pollution from a nearby metal refinery. Though these may sound like the endeavors of large philanthropic organizations, they are the accomplishments of young people throughout the U.S. who have yet to even earn their high school diplomas!

 

Rivermont Collegiate is extremely proud to be represented in a select group of students profiled in the Spring, 2012 issue of Independent School magazine, published by the National Association of Independent Schools. Students from twelve schools were selected to represent the thousands of “Changemakers” in independent schools nationwide and profiled in the issue. Pavane Gorrepati, a senior at Rivermont Collegiate in Bettendorf and daughter of Dr. Krishna and Pramilarani Gorrepati of Davenport, is profiled as a “Student Changemaker” - described in the article as those “young people who refuse the narrow label of student. Of course, they take care of schoolwork, but they also look outside of themselves and see a world full of need - and they want to help.”

Pavane, who intends to devote her life to the study of alternative energy, is the recipient of numerous top titles at regional, state, and national science fairs. Pavane spent last summer in Changsha, China on a Borlaug-Ruan International Internship researching ways to grow rice suited to thrive in warmer climates with less water than traditional rice-growing regions. Pavane is founder and president of the Rivermont Environmental Club and author of A Buzzie Bee Tale, a children’s book about a bee and its efforts to help family and friends whose environment has been affected by climate change. “I’ve been very active with the environment and inspiring kids to be a part of it, and I felt that the only way to make a difference in the future is to educate the youth,” she said.

Rivermont is excited that one of our students is recognized in such an elite group and, of course, most definitely proud of Pavane’s many accomplishments. Other Changemakers include students from Catlin Gabel School in Oregon, Marlborough School, Menlo School, Sage Hill School, Wildwood School, and Lick-Wilmerding High School in California, Lowell School in Washington, DC, Albuquerque Academy in New Mexica, Punahou School in Hawaii, and Gulf Stream School and Saint Andrew’s School in Florida.

 

Independent School, published four times a year by the National Association of Independent Schools, is an open forum exchange of information about elementary and secondary education in general and independent schools in particular. With an objective to provide informative, thought-provoking articles focused on key themes in education, Independent School has been the premier publication in private education for over sixty years and was named 2011 Periodical of the Year by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP).

 

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Report Shows Charter Schools Have Lasting and Positive Impact in Rural Areas PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Stephanie Grisham   
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 14:26

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Highlights the Portability of the Charter Model

Washington, D.C. – The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is today announcing the release of its most recent Issue Brief, “Beyond City Limits: Expanding Public Charter Schools in Rural America.” As lawmakers in states with predominately rural areas grapple with the idea of enacting charter school laws, this brief is meant to be used as a guide for policymakers, charter support organizations, and communities that want to offer high-quality options that can meet the educational needs of rural students.

The Issue Brief dissects common challenges faced in rural public education, the current landscape of rural charter schools, and key hurdles that must be overcome in order to launch a successful public charter school in a rural community. Additionally, innovative approaches that charter schools have used to achieve success in rural areas are highlighted, which offer real-life examples and yield policy recommendations for achieving charter school success in rural communities.

“Rural students comprise a vital segment of the American public education system; however, their educational needs are not always being met,” said Ursula Wright, interim president & CEO.  “One in four students, which equates to over 11 million children, attend rural public schools, and one in five of the nation’s lowest performing schools are in rural areas.  Rural schools must meet the academic needs of their students, and charter schools can help by providing high-quality options.”

In 2009-10, there were 785 rural charter schools in operation, comprising 16 percent of all charter schools nationwide, enrolling more than a quarter-million students. In addition to citing examples of successful charter schools located in rural areas, the report highlights the common challenges faced by all rural public schools - charter and traditional - including budget constraints, course offerings, recruitment, special education resources, and transportation.

An example of a successful charter school in a rural area can be found in Paradox Valley, Colorado.  The community saw its local district school close in 1999 as a result of declining population, forcing students to travel three hours to attend the nearest public school. In response, the local community founded the Paradox Valley Charter School to not only address logistical issues, but also take a stance toward preserving its distinctive rural culture. During the 2010-2011 school year, Paradox served 54 students ranging from pre-K to eighth grade.  The school consistently reaches its adequate yearly progress accountability benchmarks.

There are a number of ways that policymakers and charter support organizations can help expand high-quality charter schools in rural communities. For policymakers, laws allowing for public charter schools and equitable funding of those schools must be at the forefront. State charter support organizations are instrumental in making sure that rural communities are well-informed on the potential benefits of charter schools.

The Rural Issue Brief can be found online at http://www.publiccharters.org/publication/?id=693 and national and statewide public charter school data can be found on the Public Charter School Dashboard: http://www.publiccharters.org/dashboard.

About the National Alliance
The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the charter school movement. Our mission is to lead public education to unprecedented levels of academic achievement by fostering a strong charter sector.  For more information, please visit our website at www.publiccharters.org

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Area residents named to dean's list at Olivet PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Laura Warfel   
Tuesday, 28 February 2012 13:38

BOURBONNAIS, IL (02/24/2012)(readMedia)-- Olivet Nazarene University recently released the dean's list for the fall 2011 semester. To qualify for inclusion on the dean's list, a student must have been enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student and must have attained a semester grade point average of 3.50 or higher on a 4.00 grading scale. Area residents named to the dean's list are:

Abby Boardman of Hillsdale

Rebekah Harrison of East Moline

Hannah Rowen of East Moline

Olivet Nazarene University is an accredited Christian, liberal arts university offering more than 100 areas of undergraduate and graduate study, including the Doctor of Education in ethical leadership. Olivet has one main campus in Bourbonnais, Ill. - just 50 miles south of Chicago; three sites: Rolling Meadows and Oak Brook, Ill., and Hong Kong; and more than 100 School of Graduate and Continuing Studies learning locations throughout Chicagoland and the Midwest. From Oxford to Tokyo, hundreds of Olivet students also experience the global classroom each year, whether through study abroad opportunities or worldwide mission trips.

 
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