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Strategies to improve student achievement

posted on September 16, 2009 at 5:57 PM

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Judy Jeffrey describes some strategies for providing support for students and teachers in Iowa. Jeffrey is the director of the Iowa Department of Education.        

We have several strategies in this state that we are operating with to improve student achievement.  We have a major project underway called Learning Support which really looks at all of the factors that surround the conditions in which students learn, their families support them, their community supports them. 

So, that's one area that we really are working very hard through our Area Education Agencies to provide that kind of resource examination at the school level to say do we have all those connections in place in order to provide those supports for the students and their families to create the conditions in which they can learn.

We also have teacher development academies that we are operating on a regular basis.  We operate those in the summer time.  Very intensive instruction for those teachers to help them again improve their craft, improve their teaching.

We also have Iowa Professional Development Model where all of our teachers and our administrators need to have a professional development plan.  The district needs to submit those plans to the department and

we really look at what are the student achievement needs that exist in those buildings and those districts.  What are the researched based strategies that we truly think are going to make a difference and then how are we going to implement those strategies with what we call fidelity.  And then we provide coaches and tracking the data and help those teachers gain those new skills for that professional development model.

Our Area Education Agencies are absolutely instrumental in our teacher development academies and our implementation of the Iowa Professional Development model with Learning Supports because the majority of the professional development that really occurs in this state is sort of a flow through from the department through the area of education agencies down to the districts and the school building.

Tags: education educators Iowa principals professional development schools students teachers