As part of my PhD program in educational policy at The University of Iowa, I’m currently enrolled in a course that includes an interesting field trip, of sorts. I’ll be spending much of the day and evening on March 11th and 12th at the state capitol with a group of classmates in professors, during which time we’ll attend committee meetings, meet and dine with legislators from both parties and lobbyists from around the state to engage in discussions about some pressing educational issues. I view this as a fascinating opportunity to gain increased perspective on the internal workings of state government and, from an educational administrator’s perspective, learn more about the climate of lobbying for K-12 education initiatives. With my background of having a MA in political science, I’m also anxious to learn directly from state legislators the factors that they weigh most carefully when making decisions that impact Iowa’s schools.
As this is a non-partisan summit with no lobbying agenda, the goals are purely educational and experiential in nature. That said, I’m excited about the opportunity to bring up and learn more about some of the issues that have been most impactful on my job of late, including:
- the state’s ongoing school calendar discussion
- ongoing debate regarding allowable growth for schools
- efforts to modernize the Iowa Communications Network (ICN), which is ADM’s internet service provider
- the governor’s initiatives relating to broadband access statewide, but primarily in rural areas
- status of adoption of the Smarter Balanced assessment statewide
- status of implementation of the Iowa Core and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
If you have anything else you’d like me to look into, let me know!