The Iowa Department of Education and the German Central Agency for Schools Abroad signed an agreement that would promote the German language and culture. Under the agreement, Germany has assigned a liaison to work with Iowa schools.
The agreement actually is two-pronged.
“It promotes high-quality language instruction,” said Ryan Wise, director of the Iowa Department of Education. “And it also provides the opportunity to learn more about promising practices in both countries, like Germany's approach to apprenticeship programs, which is a key component of work-based learning here in Iowa. Germany has become a model in its apprenticeship system, and other countries are looking to it.”
In addition to promoting the German language and culture, other opportunities in the agreement include bringing German speakers here, and supporting foreign exchanges with students.
Stefanie Wager, a consultant with the Iowa Department of Education, said there’s also Iowa-based components to it, including several German businesses that have stakes in Iowa, including Trader Joe’s.
“And Iowa has a long history of having one of the highest percentages of German immigrants to the United States,” she said.