Last month, Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds presented a blueprint that is an urgent call for all of us to work on improving Iowa schools. The general consensus is that we have very good schools in Iowa; but they have stabilized, while other states and countries have increased their achievement scores. Iowa’s long-standing commitment to education will provide a great foundation to support these reform efforts.

I was fortunate enough to serve on the Institute for Tomorrow’s Workforce for five years. We had many of the top leaders in Iowa serve on this committee that tried to improve our schools. Not once during this timeframe did we gain the political will that the “Rising to Greatness” and the “One Unshakeable Vision” documents of Gov. Branstad’s reform plan have managed to do. So, I support their efforts in improving Iowa schools so that Iowa students will be the next world-class workforce. It is very evident that we are competing globally right now and that it will only increase over the next 10 years.

The “One Unshakable Vision” is attached here. Please take time to review the blueprint. I would ask you to think about two things: One, what do you think of the reform package? And two, how can the AEA support the reform package?

Please feel free to send your suggestions to me. Asking questions and defining specifics will be important as we try to support students in their classrooms.

While our future roles might be redefined, Northwest AEA employees are working very hard now to help educators, students and families. As part of our on-going pursuit of learning and service, many of our staff contribute to the featured blogs below each month to offer ideas, tips and suggestions:    

For a complete listing of all blogs, please go to the Northwest AEA website. You can also sign up for an RSS feed to automatically receive blog updates (instructions provided).

Please give us your feedback on these tools and their content. We will bring you current and relevant information to assist you in educating your students. Most importantly, we hope you will participate in the conversations. Content and ideas will only be valuable if we build them together, side-by-side.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or any Northwest AEA employee for assistance. We are here to assist you in every way we can!

Educationally yours,

Dr. Tim Grieves
Chief Administrator