Branstad hints at education overhaul - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Branstad hints at education overhaul


Has education flat-lined in Iowa? Governor Terry Branstad says a recent survey suggests so. The survey was sent by e-mail to about 1,600 people, mostly educators, who took part in this summer's education summit.

Branstad says of the 598 that responded, roughly 85% agree, student performance has stagnated over the past decade and major changes are needed.

The governor says the survey results give him momentum to propose big changes to Iowa's school system when lawmakers convene next month. He's likely to propose tougher standards for teacher education and changes to student evaluations.

Local superintendents say their kids are far from stagnate. But they agree, they'd like to see some reform in the education system.

In Hinton, officials say over the years they've added lots of new programs and courses, but are lacking overall time with kids.

"Bike safety, bus safety, all of those different types programs that we have to teach in school now, but we have not necessarily added time to our school year. Our school year is still the length it was 20, 30 years ago," said Hinton Schools Superintendent Pete Stuerman.

At Sergeant Bluff-Luton, officials say they'd support some changes too, but are concerned over the budget. They say Iowa might not be able to afford an education overhaul.

"The concern I have is how are we going to pay for all of this. Right now, our current fiscal year, we have zero percent allowable growth for students," said Sergeant Bluff-Luton Superintendent Rod Earleywine.

Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will hold town hall meetings on education next week in Siouxland. You can catch them next Tuesday at two locations: 12:30 p.m. at the Roosevelt Elementary School in Estherville or at 2 p.m. in Emmetsburg at the high school.

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