11-28-16  Posted about 10:40 AM

Bulletin posted at 1:25 P. M.--Superior Educator, Dr. Sue Atkinson's 9 bullets, convincingly showing why Iowa school boards, parents, legislators, businesses, employers and the governor should not listen to educators and their ilk--when moving to fix Iowa’s failed public schools, are posted farther below!

Greetings, Des Moines Register Editorial Board and all--

Cedar Rapids Mayor, and wannabe Iowa governor Ron Corbett, really duped you to carry his 950 word guest column in Sunday’s 11-27-16 Register—that even gave this incorrect link for Corbett’s website.  Iowa schools are in a pathetic mess in desperate need of answers, and he asked  educators 15 goofy school questions and educators have yet to give a good answer to anything.   Beyond that, and in absence of any of his comparable numbers,  Iowalive expects the best possible results his ‘questions, proposed talks and stuff’ would achieve in 5 years is 1% increase in average state student achievement, at net 4% total cost increase. 

Like Register editors, he is clueless and wants more talk, as if there hasn’t been enough committees, summits, task forces, editorials, columns and talk about fixing education in the past 10 years!!   For example, here are but a few goofy questions he asked and wants to talk about:

1.    Are our schools still as great as we think they are?  Duh!  He’s been in hibernation!

2.    Have we lost our edge? Duh again!!  No edge.  Minnesota educators referred to it as “Iowa’s dirty little secret of excluding low test scores”! 

3.    So if financial resources aren’t a key factor, what other factors can be attributing to Iowa’s loss of its top education status?  Duh—NCLB forced Iowa school officials to stop excluding low test scores that falsely inflated school report cards!

4.    Should we give more authority to principals in the hiring and firing of their leadership team?  Duh!  Poor principals are not needed at all and giving them more authority won't help! 

5.    What if we used technology to have Iowa’s top teachers teach virtually for a greater impact?  Duh—as if Iowa’s top teachers are the problem!!!

If Hiz Honor wants to fix Iowa’s pathetic schools, he ought to listen to Judy Hintz at Educational Recourses Associates, visit website and then give his best answers to the above questions, and his 10 other questions, so he and others could at least know what the heck he is talking about! 

And he ought to stick his nose into the Cedar Rapids school district that has all its schools on the dreaded NCLB Schools In Need of Assistance list for chronic reading and math failures—the Gazette editors are loath to report and opine about--starting on page 83 of 

And he and Register editors should look at the Des Moines and Cedar Rapids School Districts’ embarrassing 327th & 250th state math rankings, respectively, on website  

It would give Corbett a good whiff of the school problem and as Cedar Rapids mayor, he should go after the Cedar Rapids school board in complete charge of the failed district!!  He should show he can fix that district before taking on Des Moines and state schools!!

But we must cut Hiz Honor some slack. His city floods, he decisively lost the casino, his TIFs are evil (stay tuned), he blew his chance to clean up Cedar Rapids and he is floundering about trying to find his next victim.  What a trail of tears!



Iowalive    A growing network of volunteer citizens and professionals for improving Iowa


·       Both Corbett and the media (including the Register) continue to perceive education using the rules of the past sixty years (with their focus on shallow memorization – a form of pseudo education), completely missing the important point that concept-based education functions differently. 

·       The only thing Iowa education has been good at in the past sixty years is cheating to artificially appear to be good by not counting low test scores and by blaming students who cannot learn in a dysfunctional environment of memorization.

·       Iowa Assessments continually lowered standards to artificially appear to be good rather than actually being good – and they furnished the material to the teachers so they would know what to have students memorize.

·       Iowa Assessments are being replaced by SmarterBlanace assessments that can use learning styles to probe for the depth of understanding of concepts and their applications – which no amount of memorization can prepare students to do because it takes effective teaching to develop in-depth thinking skills (and Iowa Assessments admits it is years away from being able to design such tests).

·       ACT has been removed from Iowa because it also had its standards regularly lowered to make students artificially appear to be good while using memorization rather than the concepts used on the SAT.

·       Corbett, the media, and too many Iowa educators lack knowledge of the following: Dyslexia and Teacher Prep Dysfunction  study released 9 September 2016:  and  The Dyslexia Dilemma: A History of Ignorance, Complacency and Resistance in Colleges of Education   released in 2016   According to this study, reading problems are caused by poor curriculum and the ineffective teaching of the five concepts known as the science of reading, not by any medical condition. 

·       According to the study: “In spite of decades of research and legislation going back to the 1980s' A Nation at Risk, the 1990's America's Schools Act, the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, the 2001 National Reading Panel Report, the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act, and the Common Core State Standards initiative, reading achievement in the United States remains stagnant. By NAEP measures, reading achievement remains at 1992 levels. Well over 50 percent of children in grades 4, 8, and 12 do not read at a proficient level. Even the attempted "end run" of a couple decades of teaching to the test has not caused the scores to budge.”

·       National rankings on the international PISA exams put this country in the bottom one-third of industrialized nations, while Iowa’s ranking on NAEP exams continue to fall (as an increasing number of states begin to figure out what they have been doing wrong for decades and changing their education theories.

·       The National Council for Teacher Quality continues to rank Iowa’s teacher training programs in the bottom twenty percent, with its next report (assessing the content of the courses training teacher) due out December 6, 2016.

The Register will print an op ed completely based on out-dated and provably dysfunctional theories, but it refuses to print an op ed based on current studies that could put Iowa education on track.  Apparently it does not want the public to know how badly it has failed to report the truth about Iowa education.

Sue Atkinson, PhD