Educators, business leaders, lawmakers and others have been talking about the need to strengthen the curriculum in Iowa schools, particularly in the areas of math and science.
Warren Weber of the Iowa Department of Education says students need to be fully prepared upon graduation, so they don’t become discouraged and drop out of college. He says a young person may be happy making $8 an hour directly out of high school. "But then pretty soon, they want to marry, set up a family, buy a house…and eight bucks an hour doesn’t do it," Weber says. He says that person will need to learn more technical skills and that could require more training, possibly at a community college.
Weber says a high school curriculum should – at the very least – prepare a student for two years of higher education. "In Waterloo, Iowa, you can’t go out and get a job at John Deere with a high school diploma and expect to be there without some further kind of training," he says.
Weber helped organize a high school summit this month in Des Moines that was attended by 1,500 teachers and school administrators from around the state.