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Letters to the Editor

Education in the election

Candidates in the upcoming election, if they mention education at all, appear to falsely believe any problem can be fixed with increased funding, with no thought of fixing theories, standards or methods.These must be debated in gubernatorial and other races.

Not debated is the fact Iowa’s teacher training programs are assessed failures for continuing to use false education theories and ineffective teaching methods — while the state board and Director of Education allow them to remain certified — neither the Governor nor Legislature take any action for improvement!

Not debated is the fact Iowa’s education system routinely lowered standards to pretend to be good while using a failed system, until the national government staged an intervention with NCLB, and Gov. Vilsack set the low 40th National Percentile Rank (NPR) while the national grade level standard is 65th NPR.

Not debated is the fact certain demographic groups are targeted as problematic, completely ignoring the findings of the 2004 Manhattan Institute teachability study, using better education theories and teaching methods, showing otherwise. Iowa’s ESSA plan initially called for further lowering standards — and received an F — so another plan was submitted this August. When analyzing data, history, context and methods are crucial for proper understanding. Most Iowa students are victims of false education theories and ineffective teaching methods, but some demographic groups are also victims of blatant discrimination due to false education theories.

Not debated is the fact Iowa has wasted $232 billion (as of 2017) on failed education “fixes” created by those in this proven failure of a system and enacted by the elected Legislature and signed by the elected Governor. These billions of dollars should have been better used for an effective school funding formula but were wasted on failure with no required expectations of results. Now, the money is unavailable.

The U.S. is already falling behind in global competitiveness (documented by placing in the bottom third on international PISA exams for years), so why continue to penalize Iowa students by failing to even be nationally competitive? Iowa places 19th on average ACT scores. How far does Iowa have to fall before action is taken? Education lobbies — that prefer power and pretense to results – keepIowa education at the failure stage.

Gubernatorialcandidates at least shouldbe debating raising the student proficiency standard up to the 65th NPR national grade level, as a starting point to get on track

Sue Atkinson

Baxter

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