Iowa has some of the best educators in the world. And I’m not just saying this because my mom has taught in Iowa for over 30 years and my father has been a middle school principal for over 10. Iowa teachers and administrators are hardworking, talented, and devoted to their students’ success.
Because of its educators, Iowa leads globally in education. If you don’t believe me, read this article here by my good friend Matt Kieffer that was recently in the Des Moines Register.
But that does not mean education in Iowa is not without its challenges. We must prioritize the funding of education and provide educators with the resources they need to succeed. We must treat teachers as leaders, listening to them to learn what is working in classrooms and what does not. We must ensure the next generation of teachers are entering the profession confident they are going to have the system of support necessary to succeed in their careers.
Every student deserves the opportunity to gain a quality education after high school, whether at a professional school or at a university. My experiences, from taking community college courses to teaching at a public university, have showed me how our state is stronger when we have a variety of quality opportunities for higher education.
Our community colleges and public universities are the engines behind Iowa’s growth and innovation. We should be making every possible effort to support our high school graduates as they pursue further schooling. We also should be working hard to recruit and retain our state's best and brightest minds after graduation. We can do this by working with employers to connect our hard working and intelligent young adults to Iowa's labor market, and we also can ensure that Iowa is an attractive state where young professionals want to settle down and begin their careers. When we invest in higher education, we are investing in Iowa’s future.