Iowa Newspaper Uses Maryland School Success as Benchmark

A recent article in the Des Moines Register (limited free views available online) highlighted Maryland’s public school achievement, and drew comparisons and contrasts with the schools in Iowa.

From the article online:

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has pushed for wide-ranging K-12 education reforms to reverse the slide. But as the General Assembly heads toward likely adjournment this week, legislation remains stalled.

Iowa Education Director Jason Glass and other reform supporters point to Maryland as a possible model for how Iowa can overhaul its system to boost student achievement.

“They put the right reforms in place, stuck with them and then worked to continually improve, never being satisfied with the results,” said Linda Fandel, a Branstad education adviser.

Iowa has tried education reforms in fits and starts over the past two decades. Policymakers tinkered with teacher pay, funneled money into professional development and lowered class sizes. The moves have largely failed to improve student test scores, education leaders acknowledge today.

“They weren’t systemic (changes),” Glass said. “As soon as the political will or the money ran out, those programs vanished.”

Read the full article from the Des Moines Register.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties