Education

U.S. Department of Education / https://www.flickr.com/photos/departmentofed/9606640865/in/photolist-fCUxD4-mzySji-5xgdNT-2bgTqCU-6c5pDL-dXNEZw-dd2He2-b87js8-rLg67-f2QRhF-8KA9Kd-c3mZUo-bbJYkR-5Paz1h-f35VUW-dynUK-fRMKG-bnehn8-ftPooe-8Kx3UV-pMMmYa-8KzWRA-dyopP-8KzziW-fCX9K2-f31Pru-8KA2AC-

 

People often choose to group up with others they relate to in gender, race, and other demographics; but research shows that increasing diversity and inclusion in workplace and educational settings can lead to more creative, productive outcomes.

 

John Pemble/IPR file

The University of Iowa is settling a lawsuit alleging it violated open meetings laws during a 2015 search for its current president. 

Vladimir Kulikov / Wikimedia Commons

Iowa’s governor is defending budget cuts to the state’s university system as some schools lose ground in national rankings. 

North Scott Junior High via facebook

Students and staff at an eastern Iowa school are still recovering after an attempted shooting last month. While North Scott Community School District officials are rethinking campus safety plans following the incident, a lack of funding may limit potential changes. 

Mid-Prairie Home School Assistance Program

In the 1980's the home schooling movement was driven by evangelical Christians, who wanted to incorporate their religious beliefs into their children's education. But today, a broad range of Iowa families are choosing to teach their children at home.

Fibonacci Blue

 

 

A recent New York Times investigation revealed possible changes to the way sexual misconduct is handled on college campuses across the country.

 

Katie Peikes/IPR

State officials are looking to expand digital literacy at six high poverty elementary schools across Iowa. They visited a Sioux City elementary school on Wednesday to learn about how students have benefitted from computer programming.

Courtesy of Council Bluffs Community School District

Some western Iowa school districts are letting voters decide this month whether or not they should issue bonds to fund school improvement projects.

USDA Photo by Lance Cheung

Companies and farmers weathering the Trump administration’s trade policy, which has brought painful tariffs to many industries, could be running out of patience. That’s according to former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, who served as USDA secretary for both of President Obama’s terms. 

Vilsack says that farmers and companies were willing to be patient as the Trump administration took a hard stand with China, but after feeling the impact of tariffs, that patience is now running out.

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alamosbasement/flickr

On this News Buzz edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks to Emily Piper, lobbyist for the Iowa Association of School Boards, and Kristin Hilton, school counselor at Central Academy, about a new Iowa law that requires training for educators to help students with mental health issues.

This law is designed to give teachers the tools to help students experiencing mental health issues and establish protocols for suicide prevention. 

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The amount of public money spent to support non-public education options including private schools and homeschool programs has increased by 53 percent over the last ten years according to a recent report from The Des Moines Register.

On this hour of River to River, host Ben Kieffer explores what it means to spend public education dollars on non-public education options. He talks with Des Moines Register reporter Mackenzie Ryan, who recently published an article breaking down just how many public dollars ended up supporting non-public education options. 

Kate Payne / IPR

Across the country, construction firms say they’re having a hard time finding skilled workers. In eastern Iowa, a coalition of companies and educators is trying to grow the next generation of builders by teaching them early.

Rob Dillard / Iowa Public Radio

Sherry Poole officially began the job as principal at Hoover High School July 1. Less than three weeks later, the Hoover softball team won the Class 4A state title. Not a bad start.

“Some of the other principals around the metro were so encouraging and so nice, and they sent me a text saying, 'Wow, how are you going to top that?'" she says with a laugh. "So, it’s been a fun ride.” 

Phil Roeder

All beliefs and all actions are political. And often, inaction is just as political.

That’s according to Jeanne Dyches, assistant professor of education at Iowa State University, whose research centers around the idea of how teachers bring their political beliefs into the classroom.

“There is absolutely no way for a teacher not to bring his or her politics to the classroom,” she says.

child working with tutor
Katarina Sostaric/IPR

After a judge ordered the state of Iowa to change how schools determine if students qualify for special education, educators are grappling with how to follow the judge’s orders. And while some advocates hope this opens up special education to more students, some families are still going to great lengths to get special services for their kids.

Kate Payne / IPR

An eastern Iowa school district has adopted stricter volunteer policies and more frequent background checks, after the superintendent allowed a convicted sex offender to volunteer in the district.

Dean Borg/IPR

Iowa schools are increasingly having difficulty hiring the 9,000 drivers needed for the 7,500 buses and other school vehicles daily transporting K-12 students.

As of August 27th, nearly a week after classes began, Cedar Rapids Transportation Director, Scott Wing, has 19 vacancies, and says he would hire 30 drivers to provide an adequate pool of substitutes.

“We do have a shortage,” admits Max Christensen, directing transportation issues for Iowa’s Department of Education, “but I’ve been in the business 31 years, and I can’t think of a year when we didn’t have shortage.”

Vladimir Kulikov / Wikimedia Commons

Investing money, time and effort into getting a PhD used to almost guarantee a position at a college or a university somewhere, but times have changed. The job market for academics has gotten a lot tighter, the competition stiffer and the future less certain. 

Rusty Gates is a history professor at Bradley University in Peoria, and while he feels incredibly lucky to be working in his field, he does sometimes wish he could find a job closer to home. He lives in Iowa City, where his wife, who is also a professor, works at the University of Iowa. 

Katie Peikes/IPR

A retired police officer taught Sioux City Community School District staff what to do in an active shooter or violent situation – something that has been on the minds of many since a shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida left 17 students and staff members dead. 

Esperanza Yanez can spot a sick cow just by looking at it.

“The head hangs down and they don’t eat,” said Yanez, who immigrated from Mexico two decades ago and has been caring for cattle ever since.

Vladimir Kulikov / Wikimedia Commons

An on-campus worker education program is still looking for solutions, after the University of Iowa announced it’s closing the center down.

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alamosbasement/flickr

More than a year after receiving orders from an administrative judge, the Iowa Department of Education agreed to make some changes to special education requirements that could open up special education programs to more students.

Cliff Jette/The Gazette

This week, the Trump administration reversed seven Obama-era policies on affirmative action that called on universities to consider race as a factor in diversifying their campuses. The Trump administration will now encourage school superintendents and college presidents to adopt race-blind admissions standards.

On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks to Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen about how this may impact admissions at Iowa State, the rise in faculty resignations, and college affordability.

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Katarina Sostaric / IPR

Gov. Kim Reynolds released a new "playbook" Tuesday to guide high schools in setting up registered apprenticeship programs with local businesses.

Speaking at the Career Academy of Pella, Reynolds said it will help the state meet its workforce education goals and help businesses fill their need for skilled workers.

"So because of this step-by-step playbook, I'm confident that we'll get more employers and high schools and community colleges across Iowa to work together to start registered apprenticeship programs," Reynolds said.

Iowa State University
Wikimedia Commons

As Iowa’s Board of Regents voted to increase college tuition Thursday, one board member called recent budget cuts to higher education the “worst state government attack” he’s seen on Iowa’s public universities.

“I view it that way when we are taking three great universities downhill,” said Regent Larry McKibben, a former Republican state lawmaker. “And for me as a board member, to see that happen is extremely difficult.” 

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

During this Talk of Iowa interview, host Charity Nebbe visits the Herbert Hooover Presidential Museum and gets a tour of a new exhibit,"Tallgrass to Knee High: A Century of Iowa Farming," on display through October 2018. Melanie Weir, assistant curator at the museum, is her guide. 

Nick Brincks

How do you get kids to pay attention to lessons about important but not necessarily attention-grabbing topics like water quality and soil erosion?

Heavy metal rock anthems about cover crops and raps about watersheds are not often linked to science education, but for Jacqueline Comito, program director for Iowa Learning Farms, it's a perfect fit.

"Sense of humor is, I think, one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal," says Comito, who is also a musician.

Amy Mayer / IPR

Fifty years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture first piloted a program to offer free summer meals to children. The program became a permanent fixture in 1975, and last year, schools, libraries, recreation centers and other groups in Iowa served more than 1.3 million meals and snacks to children under 18 through the Summer Food Service Program.

Waterville weebly / https://waterville.weebly.com/history-of-waterville-school.html

This week the one and only school in the Northeastern Iowa town of Waterville will close its doors permanently. But while school district consolidation can certainly change a community, it doesn’t have to be the end of it. 

Thomas Favre-Bulle

Thousands of Iowa high schoolers wrapped up rigorous Advanced Placement exams this month, in the hopes of earning college credit. But some students don’t have access to the in-class instruction that can help them pass their APs and test out of university requirements.

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