Reviving Civic Education in Iowa

If anything good has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic it is the growing awareness by parents across the nation about what is being taught in schools. This is especially true concerning civic education. For decades a crisis has existed over the decline of civic education. Numerous surveys and studies have shown that at all grade levels, including higher education, students do not have an adequate understanding of American history, American government, or Western civilization. Reform is needed to strengthen civic education in Iowa schools and the National Association of Scholars has issued social studies standards—a guide for curriculum in each classroom—that will help improve civic education in Iowa. American Birthright: The Civic Alliances Model K-12 Social Studies Standards is guide to help improve standards in civic education.

Rural Schools Stand to Benefit from School Choice

Rural citizens and legislators are concerned that school choice would take critical funding away from their local schools. ITR Foundation Deputy Director Walt Rogers sat down with Need to Know host Jeff Angelo to debunk this myth and explain how school choice would improve education quality through the competition. The discussion starts at the 9:25 minute mark.

The School Choice Questions We Should Be Asking

The education establishment has done an amazing job of creating the perfect “Emperor’s New Clothes” scenario when arguing against school choice.  We’ll remind you of the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale that raises questions about believing our own two eyes or buying into a pretense that is being sold to us.  In the story, the emperor is fond of clothes […]

A Common Sense Approach To School Choice

Let us take a step back from all the numbers, charts, and research on the issue of school choice.  If we’re honest, most of us only believe the data that fits with our narrative anyway.  Instead, we can discuss a couple of arguments that opponents of school choice trot out and apply some basic common sense to both of them.

Time for Greater Accountability in Education

Parents across Iowa are demanding greater accountability from public schools. The COVID-19 pandemic, along with current social and political movements, has raised significant concerns from parents about what is happening in K-12 classrooms across the state. Parents want greater visibility into what their children are learning and what types of books and other resources are utilized in school. Whether it is radical 1619 Project curriculum or controversial books that use vulgar words and portray explicit and pornographic content, curriculum concerns are driving this demand for more transparency and accountability. Requiring public schools to be fully transparent about classroom curriculum, available books and other resources within schools is a commonsense and much-needed reform.

ESAs Still Needed in Iowa

This week is National School Choice week, which brings awareness to the importance of empowering parents to choose the best educational path for their children.  To most parents, it is obvious that they should be in control of their child’s education.  The problem is, in the collective mind of the education establishment, that is not so obvious. Remote learning caused […]

Governor Kim Reynolds Stands with Parents and Educational Freedom

“School choice shouldn’t be limited to those who have the financial means or are lucky to live in a district that’s confident enough to allow open enrollment. So, let us make choice an option for everyone.” – Governor Kim Reynolds   Recently, Governor Reynolds became the first Governor in the nation to sign the Education Freedom Pledge. The American Federation […]

Parents Look to Take Back Local Schools

Parents are fed up with mask and vaccine mandates, gender and race issues in our local schools.  Citizens across Iowa are stepping up and running for their local school boards to take them back. Recently, TEF Iowa Deputy Director Walt Rogers spoke with Jeff Angelo on how these frustrations have sparked a movement to get involved in local schools.

Iowa Needs School Choice

Mask mandates are the latest controversy in a series of events that has parents up in arms over what is best for their children. Recently, TEF Iowa Deputy Director Walt Rogers spoke with Jeff Angelo on what is going on in our public schools and how school choice is the solution for families to choose the education and environment best […]

Time to End the Tug-of-War in Education

This past Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pratt issued a temporary restraining order stopping the enforcement of the mask mandate ban that the Iowa Legislature passed, and Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law.  This ruling sent Iowa parents into a quandary, wondering what to do next, finding their children are again being used in a cruel game of tug of […]

Governor Reynolds’ Vision for Education: Placing Students and Families First

Photo: @IAGovernor In a recent editorial The Des Moines Register criticized Governor Kim Reynolds’ vision for education in Iowa. During the legislative session, Governor Reynolds made students a priority and she led the nation in requiring Iowa schools to offer the option of 100 percent in-person learning. By advancing more parental choice in education, Governor Reynolds is placing families first. […]

ESA: A Solution to Help Rural Iowans

Education savings accounts (ESA) can help more Iowa families tailor their children’s education to what best fits their needs—no matter their geographic location or socioeconomic background. Rural Iowans Face Unique Education Challenges   Iowa’s population is 43% rural and unfortunately, many of Iowa’s lowest rated school districts are located in rural counties. These rural areas often offer fewer educational choices […]

Personal Stories: How Education Choice Impacts Others

The future of Iowa and our country lies in our children’s hands. We must provide them with the best tools possible to succeed.  The most important thing is education.  Iowa has a proud heritage of public education and many schools and teachers do a great job educating our children.  However, they do not meet the needs of all. This is why school choice is so important. Parents should […]

Dr. Amber Robinson

“Every family deserves the ability to afford an education they believe fits their children best.” “I started in the classroom as a ‘talented and gifted’ teacher. Later on, I crossed over into administration. I’ve worked here in Waterloo, then in Des Moines and now back here again – so I’ve had my share of experiences with the school system in Iowa.” […]

Break the Monopoly

  In a recent article, Robert Pondiscio, a Senior Fellow and Vice President for external affairs at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, made a compelling argument on the need for competition in education. Pondiscio is writing from experience as a former public school educator and as a parent. As Pondiscio explains: My progressive credentials were in reasonably good order until […]

Alayna Davidson

“Education is definitely not a one-size-fits-all deal… That’s why having the choice where you go is so important.”   “I was in a lot of foster homes as a child. Then, I was adopted by the Davidsons when I was eight years old. My mom and dad knew about Joshua Christian Academy before I was adopted, but they didn’t send […]

The Politicization of Education

An Iowa Grandfather recently shared a conversation he had with his granddaughter about what she was learning in American History. His granddaughter, who is a fourth-grade public school student, was learning about the American Revolution. After inquiring what she learned, she replied, “Grandpa, did you know that the revolutionary war was fought for the freedom of rich white males?” This […]

Debunking the Myths Surrounding School Choice

  Public funds are never used for private entities.  Fiction Many government programs are based on funding individuals directly rather than funding institutions. Public funds are often used for private purposes such as food stamps, Pell Grants, the G.I. Bill, and Medicaid. Individuals and families who are recipients of these public funds can choose from a variety of both public […]

Johan & Kelly Carl

“We like that we have the freedom to choose where we send our boys to school. We’re also very thankful that we are financially able to do that because there are so many other families out there that don’t have the same opportunities as we do.”   “Kelly and I are both teachers here in Waterloo and the parents of […]

School Choice: Bureaucrats vs. Students

At the center of the school choice debate is whether families or bureaucrats are in control of education. Governor Kim Reynolds has made parental choice in education a priority for the 2021 legislative session. Whether it is ensuring all Iowa students have the option to return to class or expanding parental choice, Governor Reynolds understands that education is about students […]