This is an important moment in the history of education in the state of Iowa.
Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Iowa Education Director Jason Glass and an array of educational experts offered a set of challenges to educators at the two-day Education Summit in Des Moines.
The message was simple: Things need to change if Iowa is to regain its status as one of the strongest educational systems in the nation.
Although the statistics about Iowa students’ performances on the National Assessment of Educational Progress can be used to support diverse narratives about how students are performing compared with their peers across the nation, international comparisons tell an unambiguous story: American schools will need to do better if the United States is going to produce a globally competitive work force for the 21st century.