Celebrating Iowa Schools in 2015-2016

Dr. Jon Sheldahl, Chief Administrator

It’s an exciting time of year, as our children return to our nation’s schools.  It’s a season steeped in optimism and possibility and one that always renews my faith in society.  Students, parents and teachers across Iowa are once again greeting a new year and a new set of opportunities with enthusiasm, laughter, and resolve.  Noted author William Faulkner once said that he believed “that man would not only endure, he would prevail” and the first day of school is a ritual that captures my spirit in a way that convinces me that Mr. Faulkner was right.

This isn’t to say that our education system hasn’t had its challenges in recent years.  Contentious fights for adequate funding, well orchestrated and well-funded national campaigns intended to create doubt about our nation’s public schools, an ongoing obsession with high stakes testing, and continued reliance on accountability systems shown to be ineffective in producing desired results, have all combined to create a strong sense of doubt about the future of our nation’s school system.

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