(Harlan) Iowa’s Education Department director Jason Glass is requesting a waiver, allowing it to ignore the federal no child left behind rules. He has argued that the federal law is too rigid and relies too heavily on standardized test scores to rate the performance of schools.
Harlan Community Schools Superintendent Justin Wagner says, “The important thing I would say to teachers in Iowa is that sometimes when you are seeing these things passed out or waivers being mentioned in lots of conversations are that some folks believe that a lot of teachers in Iowa aren’t working hard enough and I guess I would just argue against that vehemently. I believe we have really good people across the state that really wants to be good, and pour their hearts and souls into it.”
Wagner admits there are always exceptions in every business or institution.
“Your always going to have in a small percentage, in any institution or any business that makes the headlines for the wrong reasons, but I would tell you that a vast majority of teachers in Iowa I think as I get into different circles not only in the Harlan Community School district but in others is that they are trying hard. It makes me a little sad that sometimes a perception might be when some of these were formed that these folks weren’t giving it their all, but I would have to say it is quite the opposite. I think that the teachers are giving it their all, and I think it’s an opportunity to get better,” said Wagner.
The Iowa Department of Education wants to replace the federal rules with a system that has rigorous standards both for student performance and teacher qualifications. Glass says the state’s plan will be part of larger proposed changes to Iowa’s K through 12 education system that are designed to ensure students make real progress each year.
February 28, 2012