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Ragan: Iowa Senate approves bold education reform

This news story was published on April 10, 2012.
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(Des Moines) On Monday, April 9, the Iowa Senate approved bold, comprehensive education reform. Senate File 2284 would raise academic standards, help educators improve, and use innovation to increase student achievement.

“Iowa must continue to be home to world class local schools. That’s part of building a competitive, growing state economy with good jobs at good wages,” said State Senator Amanda Ragan of Mason City. “These bold, comprehensive reforms build on reforms I have supported in recent years and they are based on what I learned at local schools and town hall meetings in my district.”

Here are key elements of the legislation:

· Continue the focus on early reading and small class sizes in the early grades so teachers can help struggling students catch up.

· Expand core classes to include arts, music, and technology because the challenges of the 21st century require a well-rounded education that goes beyond the three “Rs.”

· Help teachers improve with more teacher-to-teacher collaboration and classroom coaching.

· Use the best online learning resources to expand course offerings.

· Intensify connections between schools and the families of struggling students.

“We should build on what our schools do right and improve where we can do better,” Ragan said. “I ask students, teachers, parents and concerned Iowans to please keep sharing your ideas for making Iowa’s schools the best in the nation.”

The legislation now goes to the Iowa House.

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