The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


August 21, 2013

Gov. visits, praises Ashford University

Branstad and Reynolds on a statewide tour


“The lieutenant governor and I have really focused on bringing more good jobs to Iowa, revitalizing our education system in our state and restoring Iowa to be a leader in the nation in student achievement,” Branstad said.

The visit was part of the governor and lieutenant governor’s tour of each of Iowa’s 99 counties. The five-term governor will be up for re-election in 2014 and potential opponents are lining up to challenge him in the gubernatorial race.

“You are the future and we want to build a future that is bright in our state by reducing the tax and regulatory burdens and increasing our commitment to education and making sure we’re doing all we can to create good jobs,” Branstad said.

The pair fielded questions from Ashford students and staff, including one from a parent concerned that Iowa’s standardized tests are holding back her child.

“What we’re hearing is ‘we don’t think this test is a good measure either,’” Branstad said of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. “In fact, in the state of Iowa, we’ve developed state standards and now we’re part of the consortium that is trying to align these tests with the state standards. We think that’s a better test than the ITBS.”

Iowa also is part of the Smarter Balanced consortium to implement tests that are in line with the Common Core, which could help the disconnect between standards and standardized tests, Branstad explained.

“Competency-based and hands-on learning should really be driving education,” Reynolds said.

Branstand and Reynolds also discussed the number of students who receive their educations in Iowa only to leave, as well as how to recruit immigrants to live and work in the state.

“We need to encourage and support legal immigration to Iowa,” Branstad said. “We have a lot of international students that come here and take math and science and we need to be able to make it possible for them to stay here.”

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