Monday, September 24, 2007

IEREA Conference Scheduled for November 30th in Iowa City

While the presidential election may seem years away, it is right around the corner here in Iowa as evidenced by the many political pundits vying for sound bytes. An outsider may well consider this a time of confusion and turmoil prior to a more focused direction once the party candidates are chosen. This is also true on the education front. The reauthorization of NCLB is yet to be determined. Recent Federal guidelines for the assessment of students with special needs (the "two-percent population") have raised more questions than have provided answers. College-readiness, school-to-work transition and high-school reform are still topics of the day. As such, your conference planning committee worked hard to come up with a conference this year that would provide you with information that would be helpful in getting your jobs done—namely educating Iowa’s youth—in a time of transition with much unknown about the future.

Our conference theme this year is “Success for All: Access, Connections and Transitions” and focuses on the strong commitment Iowa educators have to ensuring that all students, regardless of background and circumstances, have an opportunity for success whatever the endeavor: finding a job, going to college, starting a business or pursing a trade.

We are very fortunate this year to have Dr. Judy Jeffrey, Director of the Iowa Department of Education to be our keynote speaker. Dr. Jeffrey will discuss how Iowa is prepared to meet the challenge of providing success for all students as they transition across the developmental curriculum. Dr. Jeffrey will speak about course taking patterns, particularly as they apply to students at risk. She will speak specifically about closing the equity gap for such students and will highlight the community college as a key component of the transitional plan.

Other presentations will include “Project Lead the Way.” This project provides technical and engineering career pathways and outlines coursework and critical experiences that are needed to help students fully explore and prepare for the world of work. Additionally, Project Lead the Way helps provide a consistent curriculum process that is recognized across the country.

Plan ahead and register early! Registration information can be found at the IEREA website.

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