Ensuring the Highest Standards in Iowa Schools

For years, states developed their own academic standards with a wide range of expectations that varies completely from the standards of other states. These academic standards were designed to help students get ready for college and the workplace. After successfully graduating from high school, state leaders, colleges and universities, education leaders and the business community nationwide found out that these students were unprepared for the demands of college and the workplace. This instigated the coming together of several education professionals across the country to brain storm on ideas on developing a set of expectations for students in English language art and mathematics. This initiative if properly implemented will be helpful in ensuring students across the country are well prepared for the next step after graduation.

The Iowa Core, formerly the Iowa Core Curriculum, are state academic standards that was passed and signed into law in 2007. These standards were designed for making students proficient in math, science, social studies, English language arts and 21st Century skills which include financial literacy, civic literacy, employability skills, health literacy and technology literacy. The Iowa Core provide teachers, parents, and other stakeholders within the state with a common understanding of what is expected of every students at each grade level.

As Iowa worked towards the full implementation of the Iowa Core, state education chiefs and governors across the country developed a common standard that outline what students nationwide should learn. This initiative is called the Common Core State Standards. These standards are a set of expectations from students at each grade level (K-12), especially in English language arts and mathematics. The Common Core State Standard (CCSS) is designed using the academic standards of the best-state and top performing schools system globally. The CCSS was introduced to ensure that educators and parents share high expectations for students, making them well prepared when they are going into our increasingly competitive global market place. Over 40 states have adopted the Common Core standards, including Iowa.

With authority from the Iowa legislature, the Iowa State Board of Education In 2010, adopted the Common Core State Standards in a way to align with the Iowa Core. Since the goals of the Iowa Core were similar to the Common Core State Standards, these two standards can blend together. The major objective of these standards is to ensure all students in Iowa schools are provided with the highest academic standards to prepare them for college or career training upon graduating from high school. The CCSS is designed to set consistent expectations for students across the country.

EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS OF THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS IN IOWA

  • The CCSS is designed to help students in Iowa schools understand and evaluate complex text over a wide range of disciplines on their own. With these standards, students can be able to construct effective arguments and logically prove those claims with facts.
  • Most students don’t have the skills and ability to discern a speaker’s key points. These standards will equip students with the skills to request clarification so as to assess the veracity of claims, as well as ask relevant questions in classrooms. They will be able to act independently and have a good knowledge on a wide-range of vocabulary while building on the ideas of others.
  • The Common Core standards also incorporate and encourage the use of technological devices in classrooms. These online resources assist the students including teachers to enhance their reading, speaking and writing skills, while using technology and digital media efficiently and strategically to know more about what they were taught offline. Their online search are tailored to get useful information. This makes both the students and teachers familiarize themselves with the latest technological tools and mediums, and also assist them in selecting the tools that match perfectly with their communication goals.
  • These standards establish a base of knowledge in building students to be proficient and skillful in new disciplines through study and research. They will listen attentively in classrooms to gain discipline specific experience and general knowledge.
  • The Common Core standards enhance cross curricular learning. Teachers are able to research on new methods of teaching, but the standards do not dictate the style of teaching. These standards allows for flexibility on the methods of teaching in classrooms, while ensuring students are skillful in other disciplines. The Common Core standards provide teachers with the opportunity to collaborate with their colleagues in other disciplines as well.
  • The level of academic accuracy for students in Iowa will be increased. Students upon graduating from high schools will be ready for college and career. With the skills acquired, students will be able to compete with their peers from all over the world, especially in college and workplace.

The Common Core standards are adopted in majority of the states within the country, including Iowa. The problem of students finding it difficult to cope with the academic standards of other states due to relocation will be drastically reduced. Since all states have shared standards, students who relocated to Iowa can fit perfectly into any school without stres