Newspaper Archive of
N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
March 15, 2012     N. Warren Town and County News
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March 15, 2012

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Thursday, March 15, 2012 N/Warren Town and County News Page Nine SUPERINTENDENT'S UPDATE Concluded from p.1 to stop doing and what we need to start doing. There are many changes coming for Iowa Education. Many of these will be repre- sented in the ways that teachers are prepared for the profession, evaluated and then compensated. There will be changes in the ways that students are educated and as- sessed. Expect more technology and assessments which measure problem solving. These changes and many more are inevitable. Many of these changes may challenge the historic view of American education. The rankings of the best school systems were released earlier this year. American schools have slipped to number twenty-six in the world. When comparing ourselves to other nations, to me, it seems fair to look at tests like NAEP, PISA and similar tests. They are widely distributed internationally and often delve more deeply into prob- lem solving, communications skills and inquiry than typical American tests. How- ever, there are differences in the countries in which these tests are given. Many of our competitors run a vastly different system of governance. Many are socialist countries. Many of the competitors provide more social services to all stu- dents, like free health insurance for all and free lunches for all. Those things are not part of the American school experience. Americans invest more in their schools than many other countries, but less in the surrounding social services. In addition, other countries invest less in areas unrelated to core subject areas and skills (those which are measured by the NAEP and PISA). Rather, the world's best systems allocate far less to co-academic costs like sports and transportation to get students to and from school. In many of those systems, their schools are only responsible for academic instruction. Parents assume the costs and liabilities of "extras," like club sports, mu- sic and transportation. Removing those costs from the American system reverses those cost rankings between nations. When compared apples to apples, the Ameri- can system is much more cost efficient without the "extras." However, these "extras" are part of the American culture and add richness and diversity to a student's life. Other cultural differences abound. Students have longer school years, shorter va- cations and a narrowed curriculum (primarily the core areas only). So, the American system is unique in many ways. It represents our culture. Changing the schools will also require changes in the culture. Change is hard. Now is not necessarily the time to judge those systems against ours. Rather, it may be time to study their systems and learn what we can and apply what fits with our values and culture. So, expect change of some kind. In science, change is a sign of life. The American school system is alive and will change. It's said that in the 1600s, English women would sometimes wear carrot leaves in their hats in place of flowers or feathers. LIBRARY HOURS Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday, 1 - 5 p.m. Closed Sundays (Mcnoml Day-r Day) SCHOOL AND SPORTS PAGES SPONSORED BY: *WENDY BORST MASSAGE, LMT 240-1075 *COMMUNITY BANK 285-4900 *FOUR SEASONS AUTO WASH 981-4454 *DR. DONNA GRANT FAMILY DENTISTRY 256-9000 *HASKIN CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC 981-0556 *JJ DESIGNS custom embroidery/screen print 953-6306 MyJJDesigns.com *EDWARD JONES INVESTMENTS Kevin Pearson - 285-1838 *NORWALK INSURANCE SERVICES 981-0434 or 981-4293 *NORWALK LIONS CLUB 981-0432 *OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATES 981-0224 *SCOTT'S FOODS 981-0606 *NEWTON STANDRIDGE STANDRIDGE GROUP 229-5310 *N/WARREN TOWN & COUNTY NEWS 981-0406 Norwalk Community School Board Award Recipients Tech crew members Jordan Ford, Zach Moore, Sam Bergan and Josh Butler re- ceived an award for endless hours of technology work at the school auditorium, stadium and throughout the district. Cody Torgerson, Norwalk junior, and second year debate team member received a Central Iowa Debate League Varsity All-Conference.Award. Torgerson is shown with his debate coach, Jenipher Sutherland and school board member George Meinecke. Norwalk High School Drill Team received an award for their State Championship performances. Photos submitted. NORWALK STYLING .SALON =, 808 Mare St. 981 4097 ( SENIOR CITIZEN DAY $ 0 " I Wednesdays . 20% off all services I | Haircuts - $9 Perms - $45 Color - $25 | k, Call Wanda to make an appointment. J We carry Mary Kay Products, Kenra, Biolage, Sebastian Stop in and see us! Wanda's Hours: Wed. - Fri, 9-5; Sat. 9-12 Cassie's Hours:Tues. & Wed.12 - evenings;Thurs. & Fd. 10-5; Sat. 9-1 Thanks for suoporting small town businessl /