Educators to convene at Iowa Education Summit


Gov. Terry Branstad talks to the Iowa State College Republicans on Monday at the Iowa State Capitol.

Stephen Koenigsfeld

Forty-four Iowans will attend the Iowa Education Summit Monday and Tuesday. Summoned by Gov. Terry Branstad, educators from all over central Iowa will be attending the summit at the Iowa Events Center. The theme of “how to give all students a world-class education” has been proposed, according to the Iowa Education Summit website.

Gov. Branstad has pulled together educators from Iowa to discuss on how Iowa can start to create a world-class education for students. The attendees are looking for ways to improve student performance, but mainly plan to focus on grades K through 12.

The way certain educators were got this opportunity was simple. It was manly based on a first-come, first-served basis. Committee boards and other related committees all over Iowa registered to attend the summit. The educators are all interested in how they can improve education in Iowa.

Some educators that are attending, like Karen Zunkel, believe the summit is coming together at just the right time. Zunkel is the program manager for ISU’s Women in Science and Engineering program. 

“The latest [standardized test score] rankings show that Iowa has been slipping in education,” Zunkel said. “The governor has always valued education. It’s something he’s latched on to, and [he] would like to bring us back to where we were when he was governor before.”

Another attendee will be Kim Glenn, who will be representing ISU’s College of Engineering. Glenn is a program assistant in the College of Engineering and Academic/Student Affairs.

At the summit, Gov. Branstad will divide his time among different breakout session meetings with educators. When applying, the registers signed up for three or four breakout session options. Zunkel and Glenn were both interested in a session about the value of globally prepared work force.

“We’re trying to prepare students here for a globally prepared work force here at Iowa State,” Glenn said. “Hearing what they have to say, so we can pass that information on to students now would be my goal.”

Other sessions will include topics dealing with classroom education, technology, teaching style and designing schools to fit students. All are focused on one common goal: how to provide a world-class education.

“It’s something to jump-start us and get us going in the right direction,” Zunkel said.