Closing the ‘Achievement Gap’ in Iowa’s schools
Every child, regardless of zip code, deserves aquality public school education. Unfortunately, for our State’s children growing up in low-incomeneighborhoods, far too often this is not the case. On average, children in low-incomeneighborhoods are two to two-and-a-half grade levels behind their peers inhigher income areas by the time they get to eighth grade.
For our children and for our long-term prosperity in Iowa, we must do more. Children who grow up in economically disadvantaged households face daunting challenges. We should actively embrace proven resources that can help address the educationinequity. So it stands to reason that we should be doing everything possible toattract and keep the best teachers in Iowa’s classrooms.
That’s why our current situation is ironic. Iowa has one of the most stringent alternative certification requirements for teachersin the nation. Consequently, a significant portion of our homegrown talent that has an interest in education can’t get a license to teach in Iowa. Instead of staying home and serving Iowa, they have to leave to teach in classrooms elsewhere. Moreover, it’s very difficult for our local communities to build partnerships with innovative organizations like Teach for America, Troops for Teachers, and The New TeacherProject.
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