A recent editorial in the Des Moines Register by Elliott Smith, Executive Director of the Iowa Business Council, highlights the essential need for developing the moral and performance character competencies targeted in our Power2 programming. The full text submitted by Mr. Smith can be accessed here IBC op ed re IDoE visionary leadership – Apr 2010 _5_. It’s a hard driving and nuanced perspective on preparing youth to thrive in the 21st century. I’ve excerpted (and added highlighting) below to the parts that highlight direct connections to our approach. With our partners at the Institute for Character Development we have have worked closely with the IBC to align our programming with their strategic growth areas. Power2 programming is an essential part of the rigorous and innovative education being used by schools in Iowa and around the country to prepare youth for success in the 21st C.
April 26, 2010
IOWA NEEDS VISIONARY LEADERSHIP IN EDUCATION
By Elliott Smith – Executive Director, Iowa Business Council
In the 4th century B.C., Aristotle said, “The fate of empires depends on the education of youth.” Today, more than ever, education is the key determinant of who will best succeed in the 21st century, when technology dominates as never before.
It is difficult to discuss the concept of economic development without recognizing its critical dependence on a rigorous education system. The new “typical worker” will be asked to competently apply basic math, reading, and science skills in ever-more creative and innovative business environments. The proficiency of educators to stimulate and engage the interest of students in these areas will determine the extent to which Iowa’s economy continues to grow and compete in the world marketplace. IBC believes:
— Our children and young adults must be prepared for the demands of today’s global society,engaged with an innovative and vibrant preK-16 education system that:
spurs student achievement in key subject areas like math, science, reading, problem solving, creative thinking, team building, cultural awareness, foreign languages, financial literacy, physical and nutrition education, and the arts;
- incorporates the latest best practices and current technologies;
- drives administrative efficiency throughout the system;
- promotes excellence and ethics in all aspects of performance and moral character, such as health and wellness, effort, diligence, work ethic, positive attitude, self-discipline, honesty, respect, dependability, and integrity;
- encourages and facilitates professional development for teachers and merit-based assessment of their performance; and,
- enhances a meaningful lifelong learning experience for all Iowans.
— To be most effective, the academic opportunities for the flow of students between Iowa’s secondary and post-secondary school systems need to be as seamless as possible. It is essential to have healthy, aggressive, and accessible post-secondary institutions that offer advanced learning opportunities to high schools.
This state owes much of its current stature to the investment of human and financial resources made by past generations. Going forward, our obligation is to renew those commitments in education, research, and innovation. This will ensure that Iowans continue to benefit from the remarkable opportunities offered by the global economy and its considerable underpinning in technology.
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Elliott Smithis Executive Director of the Iowa Business Council based in Des Moines. He can be reached at 515.246.1700 or email@example.com.