Jason Glass has been on the job as Director of the Iowa Department of Education for a month. And in that short time, Glass, who describes himself as a true “Duke of Hazard” thanks to his first teaching job in Hazard, Kentucky, has re-energized the discussion about the future of education in his new home, Iowa.
Glass spoke before 150 community and education leaders at United Way event, “A Conversation with Jason Glass, hosted by Aviva USA on February 28.
Glass described what Iowa should keep doing, stop doing and start doing to”protect its brand” and sustain the position as the best education state in the country. And it starts with maintaining quality preschool for our youngest students.
“I support quality preschool education. The current preschool discussion at the state Capitol is a political and budget discussion.”
He described the need to leave behind the industrial, assembly-line model of education and build a model that better serves the most kids. “Our current system works for about one-third of our kids. We must do a better job of connecting kids with their dreams. We must stop the soft bigotry of low expectations.”
And as a lifetime educator in a family of educators – “it’s the family business,” he says – he believes Iowa must look at the whole cycle of the most important part of the education system: teachers. “We must look at the whole life cycle of an educator: how they’re recruited, trained, mentored, assessed, and compensated.”
The event was the second in a series of United Way-led discussions to help our community reach an important Goal for 2020 in Education: to cut by half the number of high school students who do not graduate on time.
In partnership with Aviva USA