Education & Schools
Lt. Governor Simon announces game-changing education reforms PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Kara Beach   
Friday, 15 February 2013 11:27

Simon unveils new white paper on higher education in Illinois at Chicago’s Union League Club

CHICAGO – February 12, 2013. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon was the featured guest speaker today at the Union League Club in Chicago. Simon released a white paper on game-changing reforms that will make college more affordable and increase graduation rates.

“We need to make sure that our high school students are ready for college and complete certificates and degrees on time and with less debt,” said Simon, Governor Quinn’s point person on education reform. "The return on educational investment is proven for graduates seeking living-wage jobs and a state seeking high-quality employers. College is worth it."

According to Simon, affordability is the most significant barrier to students seeking degrees at public universities. Simon’s white paper includes game-changing reforms, such as dual degree programs that enable students to enroll simultaneously in community colleges and universities. Students are able to pay lower community college tuitions rates and later transition seamlessly to a university.

Reverse transfer programs enable students who have transferred from community colleges to continue earning credits toward an associate degree when their university classes overlap with community college requirements. Simon also suggested targeted income taxes waivers for students who earn bachelor's or advanced degrees and choose to live and work in Illinois post-graduation.

The paper follows Simon’s College Affordability Summits for students, teachers and administrators held this fall at the state’s 12 public universities.

As the state’s leading voice on education and chair of the Joint Educational Leadership Committee, Lt. Governor Simon is charged with increasing to 60 percent the proportion of working-age adults in Illinois with college degrees or certificates by 2025.

This goal is critical to the economic future of Illinois and its families. Without an educated workforce, Illinois will be unable to attract and retain employers requiring highly-skilled workers to fill current openings and sustain their future growth.

Lt. Governor Simon’s white paper can be found here.


Branstad, Reynolds outline educational achievement goals PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Tim Albrecht   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 11:05

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today joined Des Moines North High School Principal Matthew Smith to outline their educational achievement goals.

In 1992, Iowa was a top performer on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the nation’s report card because it is the only state-by-state comparison. Iowa eighth-graders were No. 1 in math, with an average score of 283. Iowa fourth-graders placed fifth in reading, with score of 225, but no state scored significantly higher.

By 2011, the most recent national test data, Iowa eighth-graders had fallen to 25th in math, with a score of 285. Iowa fourth-graders had dropped to 29th in reading with a score of 221.

The governor identified his first achievement target: For Iowa to score in the top 10 on national tests in fourth-grade reading and eighth-grade math by 2019.

“National tests in reading and math are given every two years,” said Branstad. “If the Legislature passes our education reform package, it would be fully implemented in 2017-18. The 2019 national tests would be our first opportunity to see how we are doing a few years into implementation.”

Meanwhile, by 2011 many other states significantly improved their scores bypassing Iowa in the rankings. No. 1 Massachusetts, for example, in 2011 scored 299 in eighth-grade math, and No. 2 Minnesota scored 295. Third-place New Jersey scored 294.

By 2011, in fourth-grade reading, No. 1 Massachusetts scored 237, followed by second-place New Jersey and third-place Maryland each scoring 231.

Branstad also stressed the importance of Iowa’s global competitiveness.

“Iowa eventually will need to benchmark not only against No. 1 Massachusetts but against academic stars like Singapore, Canada and Finland,” said Branstad.

Attracting more top students into teaching is a focus of the governor and lieutenant governor’s education reform plan. In the Iowa class of 2012, students who took the ACT who said they plan to become teachers scored lower than other test-takers. Here is the breakdown:

  • Prospective teachers (820 students) had an average composite score of 20.8.
  • For other test-takers (22,299), the average composite score was 22.2.

“Higher expectations for all students mean it’s no longer reasonable to expect one principal in each building to provide all the instructional leadership needed,” said Reynolds. “That’s why we’re calling for principal and teacher leadership teams to work together to do this.”

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Local Students Named to Dean's List at Cornell College PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Jamie Kelly   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 10:56

MOUNT VERNON, IA (02/11/2013)(readMedia)-- Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, named 254 students to the Dean's List for the fall semester. The following students in your area were named to the list.

Stephanie Campbell of Bettendorf, earned Honors.

Rachel Henning of De Witt, earned High Honors.

Erin McDonnell of De Witt, earned Highest Honors.

Leanna Doyle of Davenport, earned High Honors.

A grade point average of at least 3.6 on a 4.0 scale is required for this designation. "Highest honors" are granted to students with 4.0 averages; "high honors" are awarded to students with 3.8 to 3.99 averages; and "honors" include grade point averages of 3.6 to 3.79.

One of the 40 "Colleges That Change Lives," Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, is a national liberal arts college with a distinctive One Course At A Time (OCAAT) academic calendar. The OCAAT schedule provides students with intellectual immersion, academic focus, and unique freedom to shed the confines of the traditional classroom to study off-campus, pursue research, or accept an internship-all without missing out on other classes. Founded in 1853, the college's entire hilltop campus is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

For more information, visit

Rivermont Collegiate Academic Fair Events – Amazing Work from QC Students! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Brittany Marietta   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 09:39

11th Grade Service Project Presentations – Tuesday, 2/12 – 1:00 p.m.

Community service projects, including a minimum of 15 hours of service, are completed by each 11th grade student.  During these formal presentations, students explain how they applied academic learning to real human and community needs and how the experience not only benefitted others, but affected them personally.


7th Grade Living Biography Performances – Thursday, 2/14 – 11:40 a.m.

Celebrated athletes, distinguished presidents, legendary musicians, and more – see them come to life on stage as students perform Living Biographies!


Academic Fair – Thursday, 2/14 – 6:00 p.m.

Students in grades 2-11 present academic projects on display in the gym - the culmination of months of research and preparation – prepare to be amazed! 



11th Grade Service Projects

Student presentations: Tuesday, 2/12 – 1:00 p.m.

Café on Vine, Davenport

Guanacaste Conservation Area, Costa Rica

Imani! Dancers & Studio for Cultural Arts, Davenport

St. Augustine’s Primary School, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Trinity Medical Center, Rock Island

Skip-a-Long Child Development Services, Quad Cities

7th Grade Living Biographies

Performances for judging: Thursday, 2/14 – 11:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Elvis Presley

Eric Clapton

Bethany Hamilton

Anne Sullivan

Abraham Lincoln

Hershel Williams

Babe Didrikson Zaharias

Dean Martin

Pat Miletich

Natalie Coughlin

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Marilyn Monroe

Cristiano Ronaldo

News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Carol Slaughter   
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 09:27

$24,000 in Scholarship Money Given at Premier Night at the Iowa Illinois Regional Auto Show.

(Davenport) The Community Foundation of the Great River Bend is pleased to announce the 2013 recipients of the Iowa/Illinois Regional Auto Show Scholarships:

Alexandra Gustafson: Galva High School, Recommended by Gustafson Ford, Kewanee, IL Alexandra was awarded $4,000

Katherine Hopkins: Davenport Central High School, Recommended by Lujack’s Northpark Auto Plaza Katherine was awarded $4,000

Jonelle Humphrey: Galva High School, Recommended by Sexton Ford Jonelle was awarded $4,000

Madison Ruge: Bettendorf High School, Recommended by Zimmerman Honda Madison was awarded $4,000

Alex Timmerman: Bettendorf High School, Recommended by Rotman Motor Company, Maquoketa, IA Benjamin was awarded $4,000

Jacob Arnold: Annawan High School, Jacob was the winner for the technical school award and was awarded $5,000

The Auto Show has given to date over $230,000 in scholarships to 81 area students. Proceeds from the Auto Show support the Scholarship Fund. A special presentation of $8,000 was made by the Quad City Times to be deposited to the scholarship fund from sales efforts of the Auto Show Special Supplement. Sponsors of the Premier include: IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union, Automated Data Processing, S & S Automotive, The Greater Quad City Auto Auction and Enterprise Car Rental.

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