April 09, 2011

New Department of Education Director, Jason Glass, Opens IAAE 2011 Conference

2011 IAAE State Conference Participants were honored to hear new Department of Education director, Jason Glass, speak about his vision for the future of our great state.

Jason Glass
Director Glass said that he's spent his first months in office visiting as many schools, programs, educators and administrators as possible to listen to what we feel is important for the future of Iowa's students. He says that he is impressed by the passion of Iowa Educators and appreciates the fact that all educators in Iowa seem to embrace the idea of continuous change to improve our schools. Many attendees were impressed by his statement that "We have to find ways to make schools fit kids, not make kids fit schools." This statement (and many others) fits well with alternative education's student-centered approach. 

Some key points to Director Glass' vision for the future of education in Iowa include: 
  • Shifting away from the industrial model of education--having less reliance on seat time and Carnegie Units as the structural basis for our schools
  • Making the "human capital system" in education more effective.  Director Glass would like to encourage districts to change the way they evaluate teachers. Evaluations should include a variety of data, including student growth, parent input, student input, observation. Standardized test scores should only be a small part of the data.
  • Creating a coalition of "Radical Moderates" to walk the middle ground in educational reform. He feels strongly that we need to walk the path between those who fight to keep the status quo and those want to abolish public education in favor of charter schools.
For more information about Jason Glass' history, visit his Iowa Department of Education page.
To read or comment on his thoughts about education, visit his blog, Education Elements. Follow Jason Glass on Twitter @jasonglassIA

How did the director's opening remarks strike you? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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