Steve Harris

Thanks to new legislation, a definition of dyslexia will now be included in the Iowa Code.  The neurological condition, which often runs in families, causes individuals difficultly with learning to read, write and spell.

The law is the result of strong advocacy from a number of groups, including the parent-lead, grassroots organization Decoding Dyslexia. DD aims to bring attention to educational intervention for dyslexic students.

Angie Harms

Listen back to Talk of Iowa's conversation on middle childhood. Middle childhood is the time between toddler-hood and the teen years. It’s a point in development when kids transition into a concrete way of thinking that's more categorical and less emotionally volatile.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with an anthropologist, pediatrician and counselor about what's going on inside those growing bodies and minds.

Charity Nebbe

Host Charity Nebbe celebrates acts of kindness by interviewing the people whose lives have been positively affected by others.

Run Hide Fight

Sep 13, 2013
Pat Blank

Nearly 400 teachers in the Cedar Falls School District spent today learning some new options should they ever have to deal with someone with a gun in their classroom.  The training was provided by the Cedar Falls Police Department and focused on updated protocols from the Department of Homeland Security. Much like the fire drill, Stop, Drop and Roll,  public safety officials have developed Run, Hide, Fight for use in an active shooter situation.The Cedar Falls School District is one of the first in the state to involve all teachers, not just administrators.

Credit MaST Charter Community School / mastcharter / Flickr

Children are very observant… they notice differences in skin colors, hair, clothes, ways of talking...  Host Charity Nebbe discusses how children learn about race and how parents can teach their children about race and ethnicity with Erin Winkler, associate professor of Africology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Madeleine Rogin, a kindergarten teacher and

John Pemble / IPR

Governor Branstad has laid out his plan for paying and promoting the state’s teachers. Last week we heard the Branstad administration’s pitch for the plan. This week, we’ll talk with school administrators and teacher representatives for their view. Our conversation legislative show is live from the state Capitol Law Library.

Nancy Sprowell Geise

As a child growing up in Ames Nancy Sprowell Geise struggled with severe dyslexia...she was even held back a year in school. Now, she's published her first novel. The novel is called, "The Eighth Sea." It's a sweeping historical romance with twists and turns, but the story of how the novel came to be is equally as compelling.

After years of discouragement in school, in 1978 Geise found herself in the high school English class of John Forssman. Charity Nebbe talks with them both about how Mr. Forssman changed Geise's life.

Starting next year, graduates  of Iowa’s teacher preparation programs will be required to pass exams with a minimum score in order to get a license to teach.   Iowa is one of the last  holdouts in the country in not requiring  testing of new teachers.  But at a statehouse committee meeting  today  there were complaints that this year’s graduating seniors  didn’t get enough advance warning.   

Research Development and Engineering Command / Flickr

Earlier this year, the director of the Iowa Department of Education unveiled 13 recommendations from the state’s Task Force on Teacher Leadership and Compensation. The goal - to improve education in part through getting better teachers. This hour we talk with several people about how to improve education in the state, including Linda Fandel, a special assistant for education to Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. We’ll also hear from two faculty members at Iowa State’s School of Education about their national recognition for preparing science teachers.

Iowa Department of Education

Iowa teachers would see their base pay bump if new recommendations from an education task force are put into place. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports.

Advocates  for higher teacher pay better be upfront about just how much it’s going to cost, and who’s going to cover it, if they want to achieve their goal.    That's according to a representative of Iowa’s school administrators who’s serving on a task force on teacher salaries.

Iowa Department of Education

During the last Iowa legislative session, lawmakers failed to agree on how beef up teacher evaluations. Instead they commissioned a task force to make recommendations for next year. The task force met in Des Moines on Wednesday. 

Dean Borg

Governor Terry Branstad has named veteran Cedar Rapids educator Tania Johnson  the 2013 Iowa Teacher of the Year.

Johnson spent most of her 22-year teaching career in Cedar Rapids kindergarten classrooms before she accepted a teacher leadership position with her school district this fall.

Ngo Quang Minh / flickr

On today’s "River to River", we’re taking a look at  how digital technology is revamping the way today’s students learn. Many districts are renting out laptops to students and doing away with the traditional textbook model of learning. Then, we speak with several experts on how bullying can be prevented in Iowa’s schools and communities.

A few years after former Governor Robert Ray found a home in Iowa for the Tai Dam refugees of Laos, he did the same thing for another group who was seeking sanctuary. These were the “boat people”, most of them from Vietnam, who risked everything on the high seas to escape communism.

It’s estimated as many as one in five Americans experience some form of specific learning disability. Identifying who these people are, however, is not a precise science.

It took years before Jefferson-Scranton High School senior Mary Larson and her parents figured out why she couldn’t read. She depended on her father to read her grade school textbooks out loud. By fifth grade, she still showed no signs of grasping the meaning of written words.

“I went to Iowa City hospital and they had a professional test me, I had to do some reading tests, comprehension.”

School was torture for Nancy Sprowell Geise. With severe dyslexia she struggled to read and write, but in high school she had an English teacher at Ames High School who recognized her potential. On this Talk of Iowa from Iowa Public Radio, Charity speaks with novelist Nancy Sprowell Geise and the teacher, John Forssman, who changed her life. Her novel is called "The Eighth Sea."