Iowa educators and community collaborate so “Every Student Succeeds”

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CLINTON, Iowa - Iowa parents are learning more about plans to replace the controversial "No Child Left Behind" mandates for education.

A meeting in Clinton on January 23 helped gather ideas and feedback for the new "Every Student Succeeds Act."

Iowa is taking a fresh look at education these days.

"Under the new law, states have more freedom to develop plans for their particular state," said Dr. Edward Gronlund, executive director of Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency.

With NCLB requirements ending with this school year, the feds will no longer set annual targets, deliver sanctions or issue mandates for turning around troubled schools.

Ideally, states like Iowa will get more flexibility in managing federal funding and measuring accountability.

"Schools will feel that they have the support in order for them to hit those targets," Dr. Gronlund continued.

Iowa's Department of Education is in the process of sharing its initial draft and getting public feedback.

"Is student achievement, graduation rates, meeting the needs of diverse learners?" Dr. Gronlund asked.

Annual assessments are sticking around although Iowa is looking to implement a new test.

The state will also need to identify its lowest-performing schools.

Dr. Gronlund says that Iowa is forming smarter partnerships this time around.  Partnerships that also include strong local involvement.

Iowa will send its plans to Washington, D.C, by July 2017.

There is one big unknown: nobody knows how the Trump Administration will respond to it.

"We'll be able to develop a plan in which everybody collaborates," Dr. Gronlund concluded.  "In the end, students will benefit from that collaboration."

To read the draft plan and submit feedback through an online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/C62XHL3

For more information on Iowa's plans: https://www/educateiowa.gov/pk-12/every-student-succeeds-act