Help Us Reach Our Goals

Issues You Care About

Community Renewal

Education has always been a pillar of what makes Iowans get out and vote.  And no wonder.  We tell our kids to stay in school because studies show that getting a great education is part of the formula to long-lasting careers, social mobility and economic development.

The quality of our schools is rightly judged by the quality of the students.  Just a generation ago, Iowa had the best students in the nation.  That boast was backed up by the nation’s top test scores.  And it went beyond the tests.  We led in teacher training, with Iowa’s teachers being in high demand around the nation.  We led in education innovation, as we found new and better ways to make sure our students were prepared for the challenges of the workplace and colleges.  We led in higher education, with Iowa’s public and private college being magnets for the nation’s best and brightest. 

It is hard to imagine that today’s youngest Iowans have something less than the best.  But the facts are clear.  Our test scores are dropping.  Iowa’s 8th graders recently tested at 25th in the nation in math.  That is middle of the pack – the very definition of mediocre.  In recent years our high school drop-out rate has begun to increase dramatically, with the number of high school dropouts up 23% in 2009 and another 9% this year.  Simply put, the quality of our education system is sliding.

Let’s talk about the Iowa Dream.  Iowans want the world’s greatest schools.  Iowans want to see 21st century technologies integrated into classrooms.  Iowans want our students prepared to compete at the highest levels of the workplaces, boardrooms and college campuses of tomorrow. 

To get there, we need to stop defending what does not work.  We do not need to just think outside the box, we need a new box. We need to innovate.  We need to stop treating our schools like assembly lines – a model fit for the early 20th century – and begin thinking of them as centers of thinking, leading and learning.  A classroom of thirty kids all learning the same things should be replaced by settings where each child can excel in a unique and individualized setting.  We need to make sure most of our education budget flows straight to the classrooms. 

By 2020, we can have the world’s greatest schools again.  Iowans will do it together, and the next generation can lead the way.  Send us your ideas on how to do make it happen, and sign up to be a part of our team to make sure our state’s leaders make it a priority.

Share |

American Button
Iowa Button

Imagine what Iowa could be if we came
together to make dreams come true.

Copyright © 2010 The Iowa Dream Project