Governor Chet Culver is calling on every Iowa high school to begin teaching more rigorous coursework by the year 2010. Last April, the state board of education adopted a so-called "model core curriculum" that spells out what to teach in language arts, math, science, and social studies.
The board is expected to adopt additional curriculum standards this spring for teaching personal finance, healthy living, and civic responsibility. Culver says he wants every school district to begin using the curriculum within the next two years.
"This is a new, modern, competitive, global environment," Culver said, "and we can all agree that we want to be the best in education. One way to get there is to set the bar very high." Right now, school districts can choose whether or not to follow the model core curriculum.
Culver says the legislature should consider providing incentives to districts that adopt the new standards. He also not opposed to making the standard mandatory by 2010. Culver says the legislature should discuss "all possible options."
Culver say nearly 50 percent of American high school graduates that want to pursue higher education, have to take a remedial course when they get to college. "In Iowa, we’re much better than that," Culver said, "we do very well in terms of preparedness, but I want to be the best. One way I think to get there is to encourage districts across the state to adopt the core curriculum standards."