The Iowa Core…keeping expectations high for our students—and the AEA’s role

Christine Mangrich, AEA 267 Consultant for Curriculum Development

Do your students feel challenged? Is their learning real-life? Are our expectations high enough? When we live up to students’ high expectations, not only do we succeed, but they do as well. We need to meet their expectations from day one.  That is the purpose of the Iowa Core, an initiative from the Iowa Department of Education that strives to establish important and effective curricular and teaching approaches in all Iowa schools. To support this massive effort, area teachers and administrators have access to consultation and follow up from Area Education Agency 267 (AEA 267) staff. AEA 267 staff members help area teachers and administrators increase their knowledge and skills in order to deliver on the promises of the Iowa Core.  As part of this support, AEA 267 staff have contributed to a statewide website that has been created for schools to use as they plan their Iowa Core professional development.  This site will provide guidance for schools as they work to create professional learning for educators around the Iowa Core.  This site currently has tools, and resources that will help educators develop and enhance their skills to meet the needs of each and every learner. The Iowa Core ensures that:

  • Students move beyond superficial knowledge by engaging them in interesting, real-life learning experiences that are motivating and lead to positive outcomes.
  • Students will leave school equipped to succeed regardless of their post- secondary plans.
  • Students will acquire the skills necessary to be successful in the 21st Century.

As a community member, asking these questions will help you understand what changes in classroom practices are happening in your district.

1.     How are the professional development days leading to a greater understanding of the Iowa Core?

2.     What business and community groups are supporting the Iowa Core in your district?

3.     How is the Iowa Core different from what students have experienced in schools across Iowa previously?

4.     What can my student expect in the classroom?

5.     Will students be assigned more work or different work?

To learn more about the Iowa Core and the impact it will have on students in your community go to http://www.iowa.gov/educate/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=674&Itemid=1023

Christine Mangrich is an AEA 267 consultant for curriculum development. She is the lead consultant for the AEA 267 Iowa Core support team. Christine can be reached at 319-273-8216. Area Education Agency 267 serves over 66,000 students. In addition, over 5,000 educators rely on AEA 267 for services in special education, school technology, media and instructional/curriculum support. The agency’s service area reaches 18 counties and nearly 9,000 square miles.

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