Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Blouin says he’ll reveal details later, but is promising to raise teacher pay and enact changes that would begin a transformation of Iowa’s K-through-12 schools. “With education, getting by isn’t an option. In my opinion, we have to be very bold,” Blouin says. “Our state’s outcomes educationally are slipping just as the global competition is changing the entire scale.”
Blouin says Iowa teacher salaries lag behind most other states and he’s act to boost teacher pay, although he’s not prepared to say by how much or what ranking he believes Iowa teacher salaries should achieve. “As someone who was a classroom teacher and who spent over six years in a community college setting in administration, I want to give teachers in all corners of this state the ability to teach and to be flexible in responding to their students’ needs,” Blouin says.
Blouin says true change in the state’s education system cannot be achieved by just one governor, but will take as long as a generation to accomplish. “All of us who run for governor will tell you that education is our top priority,” Blouin says. “I think there is a different discussion that needs to take place…How do we move this from a talking point in political jargon into a different kind of discussion about a generational transformation that needs to take place in education?”
Blouin says he wants early elementary children to spend more time on math and science so they can move on to more challenging work in those areas when they’re in later grades. He also makes the general proposition that technology should be a greater part of student coursework, although he doesn’t yet spell out how to accomplish that goal.