IOWA K-12 SCHOOLS REACH CRISIS LEVEL

4-14-17

Greetings, State  Board of Education, Legislature Education Committees, Iowa Association of School Boards and all—

You could see this school crisis coming, and now it is here.  No suitable fix has been found that trains, or accommodates for teachers who have not been trained to teach effectively.  But the search for a new assessment program continues.

IOWA STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION IS FLOUNDERING WITHOUT RESULTS EXPECTATIONS 

According to the January board minutes for the State Board of Education: “There was discussion regarding the importance that the statewide assessment selected needs to be, and/or:

1.    a useful tool regardless of the cost,

2.    whether the state should be more reflective of the federal testing requirements for the summative assessment,

3.    the need to proceed cautiously before making a permanent decision regarding the assessment while transitioning from No Child Left Behind to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and

4.    the need to ensure alignment of the assessment with the standards.”

5.    There was no mention of any improved student achievement results any assessment is expected to achieve!

Website  https://www.educateiowa.gov/sites/files/ed/documents/2017-01-19%20January%20State%20Board%20Minutes%20Final.pdf   is a link to the full report of the January state board meeting minutes. 

IOWA DEPARTMENT OF  EDUCATION REFUSES TO ADOPT NATIONAL 65TH NPR GRADE LEVEL PROFICIENCY STANDARD

1.    It is stuck on the 40th National Percentile Rank ((NPR) standard, the lowest in the Midwest  http://www.iowalive.net/howandwhyiowagotalowproficiencystandard.htm

a.    And Iowa schools can’t meet it and seek waivers

b.   School officials and newspapers don't want to talk about it

STATE  LEGISLATORS HAVE GIVEN UP ON EDUCATORS’ SCHOOL FIXES AND FAILURES

1.    25% of 3rd graders fail reading and legislators have given up on retaining and remediating them

a.    None of the educator’s trial reading/remediation programs worked

b.    Illiterate 3rd graders will be passed into 4th grade, as usual  

2.    Legislators have abandoned Smarter Balance tests, the best available—for being too costly

3.    Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, admits schools are going backward on reading, despite billions spent to fix education.  He foolishly wants to spend more.

4.    Legislators have given up on educators and are now searching for a suitable student achievement assessment program, themselves

5.    Iowalive identified and asked 10 suitable superintendents to step up to fix the schools and they have refused  http://www.iowalive.net/tensuperintendents.htm

a.    It’s like Sodom and Gomorrah revisited.

b.    Elementary schools are hopeless because they lack the ability to effectively teach concepts, to form a solid foundation for the higher grades—which aren’t improving either.   

c.     Schools cannot be saved as we know them, they must be bypassed

6.    Edison Schools Managment, now known as EdisonLearning Inc.,  was ahead of its time when it offered school boards its school management system several years ago

a.    Entrepreneurs know there is an abundance of school money wasted—that is available to them

b.    Their next offer will be accepted by school boards as the best, and only, choice for the kids

c.    Boards will allow them to use higher standard teachers from out of state

Once bypassed, the student proficiency standards can also be raised to national grade level, effective assessments can then provide solid data on which to base decisions affecting improvement.  Teacher standards can be raised to effective levels.  Multiple skill levels are involved, including computer skills.  Any Online schools having the technology for a quality online assessment, using standards commensurate with national grade level--will be released from having to use state certified teachers, who haven’t been trained to teach, will also be released from having to use the flawed Iowa Core curriculum. 

Iowa has already wasted too much money on proposed education fixes (that all failed because they involved poor planning and decision-making) to continue wasting money on educators and cheap tests that produce more bad decisions!  Even the D. M. Register and C. R. Gazette editors are beginning to smell a rat.  And they have yet to see Iowalive’s updated Teen Mind Development Chart, coming soon. 

FAILED EDUCATION FIXES

GOVERNOR BRANSTAD AND SENATOR MIKE GRONSTAL APPROVED OF AT LEAST $180 BILLION EDUCATION WASTE.  Source: Iowalive & Others  12-19-16

DESCRIPTION OF EDUCATION FIX FAILURES FOISTED ON IA SCHOOL  BOARDS.

ESTIMATED NET, TOTAL WASTE, AS OF 12-20-16.  (BILLIONS)

HIGHER TEACHER PAY

$96.00

STATE AID TO SCHOOLS

$53.00

AEAs

$23.00

SPECIAL EDUCATION

$12.30

NEW MATH

$5.70

PHASES I, II & III TEACHER TRAINING

$7.50

SMALLER CLASS SIZE

$6.10

WHOLE LANGUAGE

$4.30

MANDATORY KINDERGARTEN

$2.20

TEACHER-IN-SERVICE DAYS

$2.20

PRESCHOOL

$0.60

TOTAL

$212.90

Anyone claiming to have better numbers is asked to provide them.

Sincerely,

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