Iowans to weigh in on state academic standards
Review process will begin with science standards on Nov. 4
Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck today announced the first phase of a new process for reviewing Iowa’s statewide academic standards. The process will help Iowa build on the strong foundation already set by the standards.
Under the first phase, 19 Iowans will serve on a state team to review Iowa’s science standards, as well as rigorous science standards from other states, and make a preliminary recommendation for improvement early next year. The preliminary recommendation will be taken to the public for feedback. The team will then consider the public feedback before sending a final recommendation to Buck and to the State Board of Education next spring.
“This process is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of Iowa’s academic standards and to improve them,” Buck said. “We look to Iowa’s education stakeholders to help us continue to make our standards the right fit for Iowa.”
The review of science standards will be followed by reviews of the other parts of Iowa’s statewide standards, which cover social studies, mathematics, English language arts and 21st century skills. Each review will follow a similar format.
Review teams will be made up of Iowans with expertise in each subject area. For example, the science standards review team will include education and business leaders with expertise in physical science, life science, earth and space science, and engineering, technology and application.
Iowa lawmakers adopted statewide academic standards in 2008. The standards set consistent expectations for learning in schools across the state. The standards are a set of goals, not a curriculum, so decisions about how to help students reach the standards remain in the hands of local school administrators and teachers.
The standards review process is part of Executive Order 83. Iowans can read the standards online.
“Our statewide standards are at the heart of work in schools to prepare today’s students for success in tomorrow’s workforce, but they are not perfect,” Buck said. “Our schools are working hard to implement the standards, and we want to support that work by strengthening the standards.”
The science standards review team will meet for the first time on Tuesday, Nov. 4. The meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Science Center of Iowa, 401 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, in Des Moines. Meetings are open to the public. Meeting dates, agendas and minutes will be posted to the Iowa Department of Education’s website.
Members of the science standards review team are as follows:
- John Bedward, Buena Vista University
- Pam Elwood, Green Hills Area Education Agency
- Matt Geraghty, Rockwell Collins
- Robin Habeger, DuPont-Pioneer
- Renee Harmon, Science Center of Iowa
- Kris Kilibarda, Grand View University
- Rob Kleinow, Heartland Area Education Agency
- Lisa Krapfl, Holy Family Catholic Schools
- Mason Kuhn, Waverly-Shell Rock Community School District
- Chris Kurtt, Norwalk Community School District
- Dean Lange, West Des Moines Community School District
- Jon Markus, Adel-DeSoto-Minburn Community School District
- Ted Neal, University of Iowa
- James Pifer, Southeast Polk Community School District
- Abby Richenberger, Burlington Community School District
- Ed Saehler, University of Iowa
- Tamara Trinder, Mercy Clinics
- Courtney Van Wyk, Pella Christian Grade School
- Wade Weber, Clay County Extension