A Creston woman named to the governor’s “Iowa Learns” Council is looking forward to the challenge. Connie Maxson is chief administrator of the Green Valley Area Education Agency in Creston, and says the council members are working in three subgroups. Maxson’s group will work on K-through-12 issues. They’ll recommend some changes in high school exit requirements, and also in college entrance requirements, so students and parents can get a good look at what it’ll take to leave a good high school program and enter a post secondary one. She says they’ll also identify strategies for families to use in making decisions about whether a student will head for college. Another group will revolve around the youngest learners. For early childhood they’ll focus on preschool readiness to learn, and what it takes in childcare or the home to have kids ready to go to school, making a connection between teachers, parents, and caregivers. The post-secondary group will focus on connecting education and employment opportunities, and identify what skills are critical for success in Iowa’s economy. The goal of the “Iowa Learns” council is to have 90-percent of Iowa children having a quality preschool experience, and nine out of ten high school graduates go on to finish at least two years of college. Maxson says the group’s been asked to come up with some recommendations in 12 months, and those will likely be used to make policy and write up proposed legislation.
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