Education

university of iowa
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.

university of iowa
Vladimir Kulikov / Wikimedia Commons

The University of Iowa announced Tuesday it will cut a total of 33 positions, close down seven centers on campus and roll back funding for five more centers. UI officials said the decisions were forced by years of budget cuts from the Iowa Legislature, a process they described as a "generational disinvestment in public higher education."

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.

MadMaxMarchHare / Wikimedia Commons

At a time of rising tuitions and tight budgets at the state’s Regents universities, the president of the University of Northern Iowa is expressing some relief.

Mark Nook has been on the job in Cedar Falls about a year. Tuition at his school is climbing two-point-eight percent, a little more than $200. That's less than the three-point-eight percent increases at Iowa State and the University of Iowa. Nook says he understands why higher education is often on the chopping block during state budget considerations.

university of iowa
Vladimir Kulikov / Wikimedia Commons

The University of Iowa is looking into reports of sexual misconduct after dozens of women turned to Twitter to post allegations of harassment by a single student.

Mid-Prairie Community School District / https://www.mphawks.org/midprairie-high-school

Officials at an Eastern Iowa School District hope to have new policies in place by this August, after letting a convicted sex offender volunteer in the district. 

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.

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.

university of iowa
Vladimir Kulikov / Wikimedia Commons

Non-tenure track faculty at the University of Iowa say they’re laying the groundwork for labor negotiations with the administration. The group of adjuncts, instructors and visiting professors had its first formal meeting with officials Wednesday morning.

Kate Payne

A superintendent in eastern Iowa is keeping his job, despite letting a convicted sex offender volunteer in his district. The administrator had previously offered to resign over the issue that some say has divided the school community.

Seth Sawyers via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sidewalk_flying/

The Davenport Community School District is considering closing one of its schools, in order to balance the budget. One local official says the problems are partly caused by the state’s school funding formula

Mid-Prairie Community School District / https://www.mphawks.org/midprairie-high-school

A southeast Iowa superintendent is standing by his decision to let a convicted sex offender volunteer in his district. Amid pushback from parents and former students, the issue could cost the official his job.

university of iowa
Vladimir Kulikov / Wikimedia Commons

The University of Iowa is rolling out a new plan to combat harassment and sexual violence on campus by expanding education and training for students, faculty and staff and supervisors. The effort draws on a findings from a survey of nearly 7,000 students’ experiences with sexual misconduct.

Emily Woodbury

When Leigh Ann Erickson taught in Chicago and New York, she witnessed the effects of social injustice every day.

But the view from small town Iowa can be very different. That’s why Erickson founded a social justice course, an African American literature course, and the CARE Conference at Mount Vernon High School. Through this curriculum, Erickson hopes to broaden her students' perspectives about income inequality, race, and the criminal justice system. 

Ryan Riley, College of Human Sciences / Iowa State University

Ashley Nashleanas has been blind since birth, but that hasn’t stopped her from accomplishing remarkable things. This spring, she’ll receive her PhD in Educational Psychology from Iowa State University.

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe chats with Nashleanas about how her blindness informed her studies of math and science, and how she hopes to help other students who are visually impaired learn these subjects. For her part, Nashleanas had the confidence to request help when visual representations were omitted from her textbooks.

Kate Payne

This story was updated on 4/19.

Non-tenure track faculty at the University of Iowa are demanding higher pay, better benefits and more representation. Around sixty non-tenure track professors and supporters braved the weather to deliver their demands to campus administrators Wednesday.

university of iowa
Vladimir Kulikov / Wikimedia Commons

The University of Iowa is putting construction and maintenance on hold in order to absorb an estimated $5.5 million worth of budget cuts from state lawmakers. School officials say stalling necessary repairs will cost more in the long term. 

Kate Payne

Joining students across the country, hundreds of Iowa students walked out of classes Wednesday to honor the 17 people killed at a school in Parkland, Florida one month ago. While some students were on spring break, others staged demonstrations in Dubuque, Davenport, Fairfield, Council Bluffs, Grinnell and West Liberty.

Seabamirum via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/seabamirum/

Iowa schools with disproportionately high transportation costs are getting a funding boost from the state. But the one-time increase won’t get them very far.

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Cory Doctorow

The Iowa Senate will take up a bill requiring all school districts to work with local law enforcement and emergency personnel to develop safety plans for an active shooter situation. The bill advanced out of committee the day after a deadly school shooting in Florida last week.

Manson Northwest Webster Community School District Superintendent Justin Daggett says his district has a protocol ready.

"It is something that we are trained and prepared for and we pray to God that we never have to do it," Daggett says.

Karsten Moran / Redux Pictures

New York Times Magazine Staff Writer Nikole Hannah-Jones is no stranger to hard conversations about race. She grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, being bused to a school across town that was mostly white, compared to her majority black neighborhood. She says she grew up spending about two hours on the bus each day. 

Iowa Department of Education

The governor and the acting lieutenant governor appeared before the state Board of Education Thursday. One point they made applied to rural schools.

During her Condition of the State address, Kim Reynolds announced she was appointing Adam Gregg to lead an initiative aimed at growing rural Iowa. Gregg was by her side as they spoke with state education board members. He says connecting schools in rural areas to the Internet will be part of his efforts. Gregg says Iowa isn’t doing too badly, with 99 percent of schools providing the recommended band width.

Mercy College of Health Sciences

The push to prepare more nurses to fill a growing shortage within the profession is resulting in another educational collaboration. This joint venture involves two private colleges in Des Moines.

University of Iowa Health Care

Programs offered by the University of Iowa to draw more young people into the so-called STEM fields appear to be working. The number of students attending STEM-related workshops sponsored by the U of I during the past year increased substantially.

Milken Family Foundation

A teacher in a small school district in southern Iowa is one of 44 teachers nationwide to receive a Milken Educator Award this year. It’s her job to train other teachers.

Joni Readout is an instructional coach at Central Decatur middle school and high school in Leon. She works with about 15 other district teachers to help improve their classroom work. Her efforts were noticed by the Milken Family Foundation, which honors teacher excellence each year.

Joyce Russell/IPR

The presidents of Iowa’s Regents universities today made presentations to Gov. Kim Reynolds and her budget advisors, requesting minimal increases in funding for next year. 

Last year, university budgets were cut by $30 million.

Now the universities are asking for a mostly status quo budget for next year, except for new money to increase financial aid for students and for new capital projects on the campuses.   

New ISU president Wendy Wintersteen, now in her second week in office, was making her first budget appeal.          

kedarie johnson
Facebook

The murder of a gender fluid teenage in Burlington has brought attention to the treatment and resources available for transgender students and their friends and teachers in Iowa. Iowa Safe Schools is hosting the first Transgender Education Summit in Iowa on November 17th in Des Moines, and Executive Director of Iowa Safe Schools Nate Monson says that its hard to get an estimate on how many trans students are attending public school in Iowa. 

How and Why Language Changes Over Time

Oct 25, 2017
Image courtesy of M. Adiputra

It might seem as though the definitions of words are etched in stone, never to be changed. But language is fluid.  On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with language expert Patricia O’Conner about linguistic quirks, including differences between "can" and "may."

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