Education & Schools
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Michelle Tigani   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 08:30

WASHINGTON, DC – Iowa ranks #34 out of all U.S. states and the District of Columbia when it comes to giving parents fundamental power over their child’s education, according to the fifth edition of Parent Power Index (PPI), released by The Center for Education Reform (CER). While only six states earn rankings above 80 percent on PPI, Iowa scores 64.4 percent.

Parent Power Index is a web-based report card that evaluates and ranks states based on qualitative and proven state education policies. The higher a state’s grade, the more parents are afforded access and information about learning options that can deliver successful educational outcomes for their children.

“While it’s true some states have made progress, it’s not nearly enough to meet demand. Simply put, we need more learning options available to more families, and we need them fast,” said Kara Kerwin, president of the Center for Education Reform.

“Out of the over 54 million K-12 students nationwide, only an estimated 6.5 million students are taking advantage of charter schools, school choice programs such as vouchers or tax credits, and digital or blended learning models,” said Kerwin. ”With the United States’ school-aged population expected to grow at unprecedented rates in the next 15 years, how will our school system be able to meet demand when we already have wait lists for charter schools and oversubscribed scholarship programs?”

A median PPI score of 67.4 percent (Delaware) shows just how poorly most states have implemented policies surrounding charter schools, school choice, teacher quality, transparency, and online learning, the five main components that comprise state PPI scores. Mississippi, ranked 20, made the most progress, moving up 21 spots and breaking into the top 20 states after being in the bottom 11 states on previous analyses.

“With 36 governor races this November, including in Iowa, it’s time enacting parent-empowering policies take front and center, especially when only 37 percent of Hawkeye State eighth graders are proficient in reading and 36 percent are proficient in math. America’s future depends on states’ ability to enact good policy to accelerate the pace of education reform and grow new and meaningful choices for parents.”

CER President Kara Kerwin and CER Executive Vice President Alison Consoletti Zgainer are available for comment on CER’s Parent Power Index. Members of the media should contact CER Communications Director Michelle Tigani at 301-986-8088 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to set up interviews.

The PPI education scorecard reveals state summary data, while full state-by-state details, including methodology, can be found at

This year’s Parent Power Index takes into account CER’s first-ever voucher and tax credit scholarship rankings and analysis, School Choice Today: Voucher Laws Across the States Ranking & Scorecard 2014 and School Choice Today: Education Tax Credit Scholarships Ranking & Scorecard 2014.


Founded in 1993, to bridge the gap between policy and practice, The Center for Education Reform is the pioneer and leading voice for substantive change that transforms learning opportunities and outcomes for America’s children. Additional information about CER and its activities can be found at

News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Christine Cournoyer   
Friday, 03 October 2014 14:46

The Quad-City Engineering and Science Council, or QCESC, has released its 2015 scholarship application at for students interested in studying a STEM-related degree at an accredited four-year college or university. (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics)  Applications must be postmarked by January 23, 2015. The scholarships will be awarded at its 53rd annual National Engineers Week banquet tentatively set for February 26, 2015.

2015 will mark the 21st year of the QCESC awarding scholarships to encourage students majoring in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, related fields.  Last year 15 scholarships between $1000 and $3000 each totaling $24,000 were awarded.

These scholarships are awarded based on academics, extracurricular activities (which include work and community service), and leadership experience. An essay on career goals and why the applicant is interested in a STEM-related field is also required. High school seniors from Henry, Mercer, Rock Island, Whiteside, Carroll, Knox, Lee, Clinton, Scott, Muscatine or Louisa counties are eligible to apply. Additional requirements are on the application.

In addition to scholarships given by the QCESC and its member societies, scholarships will also be provided by the following Engineering Colleges:

  • Iowa State University (2 x $1,000)
  • University of Iowa (1 x $1,000)
  • University of Illinois - Chicago (1 x $1,000)
  • University of Wisconsin - Platteville (1 x $2,500)
  • Western Illinois University - Quad Cities Campus (1 x $1,000)
  • St. Ambrose University (1 x $2000)

The Quad City Engineering and Science Council (QCESC) is an umbrella organization representing 36 technical societies in the Quad City region with approximately 5,000 associated members. The QCESC is non-profit organized in 1963. Its mission is to Promote and support engineering, science, and technical professionals and associated societies in the Quad City Region and to also support and encourage students in the Quad City Region to study in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) related fields.

For more information or to download the scholarship form, visit us at .


State Treasurer Fitzgerald Announces College Savings Iowa's Sixth Price Reduction in the Last Decade PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Karen Austin   
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 16:35

DES MOINES, IA (10/01/2014)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald announced today that College Savings Iowa is once again reducing its fees. "In the last decade, we have had six price reductions, resulting in a 60% decrease in fees," Fitzgerald said. "By consistently lowering fees over time, we are ensuring that more money stays in parents' and grandparents' accounts, growing along-side the children. The plan continues to be a great value for Iowans saving for future higher-education expenses." The price reduction, effective October 15, 2014, will bring the current annual asset-based fees of College Savings Iowa's portfolios down from 0.28% to 0.26%.

"In the last ten years our assets have nearly quadrupled as we approach the $4 billion mark," Fitzgerald said. "College Savings Iowa continues to share the benefits of its growth by lowering expenses, which is a testament to the plan's commitment to deliver well-managed college savings investments at low costs." The program has 220,000 accounts established with an average plan account size of over $17,000.

College Savings Iowa, created in 1998, offers families a tax-advantaged way to save money for their children's higher education. It only takes $25 to open an account, and anyone can invest in College Savings Iowa on behalf of a child. Participants who are Iowa taxpayers can deduct contributions up to $3,098 per beneficiary from their 2014 adjusted gross income, and there are no income or residency restrictions.* For more information about College Savings Iowa, visit or call 1-888-672-9116.

*Adjusted annually for inflation. If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.


Investment returns are not guaranteed and you could lose money by investing in the plan. Participants assume all investment risks as well as responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences. If you are not an Iowa taxpayer, consider before investing whether your or the designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program.

For more information about the College Savings Iowa 529 Plan, call 888-672-9116 or visit to obtain a Program Description. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are included in the Program Description; read and consider it carefully before investing. Vanguard Marketing Corporation, Distributor.

College Savings Iowa is an Iowa trust sponsored by the Iowa State Treasurer's Office. The Treasurer of the State of Iowa sponsors and is responsible for overseeing the administration of the College Savings Iowa 529 Plan. The Vanguard Group, Inc., serves as Investment Manager and Vanguard Marketing Corporation, an affiliate of The Vanguard Group, Inc., assists the Treasurer with marketing and distributing the Plan. Ascensus Investment Advisors, LLC, provides records administration services. The Plan's portfolios, although they invest in Vanguard mutual funds, are not mutual funds.

Jordan Catholic School Feeds the Hungry PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Janine Parr   
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 13:45
During the 2014-15 school year, the students, the staff and families of Jordan Catholic School will be discussing the Corporal Works of Mercy as our way of putting Faith into Action. During the month of September, we Fed the Hungry and Gave Drink to the Thirsty by having a canned food, non-perishable food item and drinks collection. Through the generosity of our students, staff, and families, we collected 803 items for the St. Vincent De Paul Food Pantry sponsored by St. Pius X Parish.

Bettendorf resident Jordan Spay named to dean’s list at Olivet PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Laura Warfel   
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 13:17

Jordan Spay of Bettendorf was named to the dean's list at Olivet Nazarene University for the spring 2014 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.

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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