At Meredith Middle School on Des Moines’ northwest side there are more than 30 ways students say hello. The number of languages can change week to week. This school year the Des Moines school district will receive more than 6 million dollars from federal and state funds for ELL services, and will also spend more than a million dollars of its own money. Next year the district plans to have more than 6,000 ELL students.
The new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Washington is looking into a banking service that’s growing in popularity on college campuses. Universities team up with large banks to offer debit cards to students.
A Wartburg College professor hopes to bring biology classrooms back to life. Michael Bechtel says students should be studying living creatures not ones that are dead and floating in formaldehyde. He's been growing a collection of snakes, frogs, tortoises and others for about 19 years. He's sharing them in his college classroom and beyond.
Iowa State University is reporting more students on campus this fall than ever before. The University of Northern Iowa has more students than expected. And the University of Iowa reports its fall enrollment held steady.
Reporting to the State Board of Regents meeting in Cedar Falls, Iowa State President Steven Leath said ISU’s enrollment of 33, 241 students is 7 percent more than last year’
A small group of teachers in Cedar Rapids is trying a new way to inspire students to learn, by getting them out of the classroom and working on projects with community mentors. As Iowa Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren reports, the Big Ideas Group is wrapping up a summer pilot program, and will become an option for students across the district this Fall.
To get an idea of how this works, take 12th grader McKenna Cole, who—at a weekly meeting, explains to her fellow students why she’s working with a wastewater treatment plant to test how poplar trees can filter water.
Days before Commencement at the University of Iowa, the music school’s Brass Quintet practices an old favorite.
From graduation ceremony to graduation ceremony, the tune never changes. But what is changing, is how graduates are mapping their careers afterward. Tuba player and PhD candidate Blaine Cunningham explains.
“Being a musician, sometimes we need to be creative with our jobs. I play with an orchestra, I teach at a couple colleges, I’m a freelance musician so I play a lot of gigs in the community, I teach private lessons,” he says.
We've been hearing about some of the challenges with diversity in the Iowa City School District. There are other districts in Iowa with diversity policies, some of them much smaller. Two and a half hours from Iowa City is the town of Postville.
Postville made national news five years ago when the federal government raided the town's Hasidic owned meat packing plant and hundreds of undocumented workers were arrested.
Parents crowd the room to discuss Iowa City's new diversity policy. There was a notable lack of minority faces in the room-- Henry Harper says he came in order to represent and report back to many in the African American community.
Yesterday we heard how the public outcry over the Iowa City School District Diversity policy continues to fuel a bitter debate in Iowa City. Like much of Iowa, Iowa City is facing a changing population and with that has comes a widening achievement gap. In the second part of a series about diversity in Iowa schools, reporter Sandhya Dirks takes a closer look at balancing school integration with divided neighborhoods and a new influx of residents.
Demographics in Iowa are changing and perhaps no where is this fact more visible than in the classroom. In the first of a three part series about diversity in Iowa schools, Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks takes a look at the public outcry over a diversity policy in the Iowa City School District. It’s a policy that is exposing deep racial and cultural divides in a part of the state that prides itself on acceptance.
Two portable classrooms sit outside Studebaker Elementary School in southeast Des Moines, readied to be sold. The Des Moines Public School District is getting rid of its portables because students had to walk between buildings regularly.
As President Obama’s gun control proposals make their slow way through Congress, Iowa, and every state in the nation, is asking the same question. How do we protect our children from gun violence? Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters talked to some of the voices in this debate and visited a school in Des Moines.
At Studebaker elementary school in southeast Des Moines, students practice a fire drill. They exit the building in single file.
The State Board of Regents today announced the selection of William N. Ruud (ROOD), as the 10th president of the University of Northern Iowa. Ruud currently serves as president of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.
Ruud will assume the duties of UNI president on June 1 and will be paid an annual salary of $340,000. The date for an official welcoming on the UNI campus will be announced later. Ruud was one of two finalists for the job. The other was Indiana University-Purdue University Chancellor Emeritus Michael Wartell.
Whether student performance should be considered when teachers are evaluated has once again become a divisive issue at the statehouse. The Department of Education proposes scrapping Iowa’s current teacher evaluation standards, and writing new ones to satisfy the federal government. Otherwise, they say, Iowa will remain under the demanding requirements of federal education law.
The splendor of watching our national symbol soar over Iowa skies is more noticeable than in the past. The Bald Eagle is making a comeback from years of being on the endangered species list. But, although the threat of the poisonous insecticide DDT, which thinned the bird’s eggshells, is banned there are other perils. Karen Disbrow is president of the Iowa City Bird Club. The Club is taking part in Saturday, February 9th Eagle Expo in Coralville, which features speakers and exhibitors at the Brown Deer Golf Club and eagle viewing at the Coralville Dam spillway.
Governor Branstad’s education reform proposal received high praise from those that helped inform its creation at a House committee hearing Tuesday. But some say it doesn’t confront major problems that face Iowa’s students.
The package includes raising beginning teacher salaries from $28,000 to $32,000. There’s tuition forgiveness for teachers that stay in Iowa. It creates pathways for veteran teachers to mentor new teachers so there’s incentive for them to stick with teaching.
The Iowa Department of Education is seeking state funding to expand on-line education for high school students. The Department is now operating what’s called “Iowa Learning Online” with federal funding that’s expiring.
State Education Director Jason Glass says the program is serving students who aren’t doing well in traditional classrooms.
“We have students that are bullied. We have students that are medically fragile. We have students that need to be home for any number of reasons, “ Glass says. “Those are the kind of students we want to make this an option for.”
Same sex marriage is legal in Iowa and it appears to be gaining acceptance. A Supreme Court justice who was part of the ruling that paved the way for same-sex marriage was retained in a heated campaign this year. But advocates for gay teens say bullying is still a problem in schools.
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.
More than 1100 Iowa educators, students and community members from across the state came to Des Moines Tuesday for Governor Branstad’s first Bullying Prevention Summit. As Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports the message was not just about how to respond to bullying, but how to prevent it.
The highly acclaimed movie “Argo” is finishing its run through Iowa theaters this week. Directed by Ben Affleck “Argo” depicts the rescue of six U.S. Embassy workers from Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis.
A Waverly woman, Kathryn Koob has a unique prospective of those events because she was one of two women who did not escape and was held by the Revolutionary Guard for 444 days.