U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will be the keynote speaker at Gov. Terry Branstad’s Iowa Education Summit to be held Monday, July 25, and Tuesday, July 26, in Des Moines.
The goal of the summit, which Gov. Branstad announced during his inaugural address last month, is to build a consensus for how Iowa can once again become a top-performing state in education and assure Iowa’s young people are globally competitive.
"I’m pleased that Secretary Duncan will be the summit's keynote speaker," said Gov. Branstad. "His emphasis on getting a great teacher in every classroom, including raising the bar for teacher preparation programs is right on the mark."
The summit will focus on three key areas: (1) educator effectiveness; (2) high academic standards and strong assessments; and (3) innovation, such as competency- based learning, which allows students to learn at a faster pace than they might in a traditional setting.
More details of the summit, including a list of speakers and how to register, will be made available in coming weeks. Other education reform experts from around the nation and the state will be invited to participate in the summit.
"It is our hope that educators, community leaders, business executives, parent and lawmakers from across the state will be among Iowans attending," said Gov. Branstad.
Iowa used to be an academic star on the National Assessment of Educational Progress in the 1990s, but other states that put in place stronger school reforms have passed Iowa by in the rankings.
"Iowa has to excel again, both to assure a prosperous future for its children and a strong work force that will help existing businesses grow and attract new businesses to the state," said Branstad.