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Grant Wood Area Education Agency

Leadership sessions provided support for Iowa Core

Iowa Core

Grant Wood AEA offered a series of learning sessions for educators and community members during the 2009-2010 school year designed to create conversations and share information about the Iowa Core and preparing students for the 21st century.

The Iowa Core Leadership Series for the 21st Century was a series of four daytime presentations that provided district teams the opportunity to engage in learning and planning. Featured speakers provide participants with a view of education improvements and progress beyond and in Iowa.

The four evening sessions, titled, 21st Century Learning for Community and School Leaders, were held from 5-8 p.m. on the same day as the leadership series and featured the keynote speakers. Participants included teachers, administrators, board members, parents, and community leaders. The session fee was $10 and a light meal was provided.

Both day and evening sessions were designed to offer support for district leadership teams as they continued learning and developing their plans for implementing the Iowa Core Curriculum.



Session 1: Globalization and American Education, Oct. 1, 2009

Yong Zhao, Ph.D., Michigan State University, emphasized the importance of providing opportunities for students to engage in problem solving and encouraged participants to celebrate and enhance students’ opportunities to explore and develop their creativity. Joining Dr. Zhao was Jack Harris, a local business leader with Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, who encouraged participants to provide students with opportunities to engage in math, science, and technology projects, areas of anticipated future labor market shortages.

Yong Zaho, Ph.D.


Session 2: Redesigning High Schools, Nov. 9, 2009

Fred Bramante, past chairman and member of New Hampshire’s State Board of Education and instruction combined with community resources to provide anytime/anywhere student-learning experiences. Joining Mr. Bramante were educators and students from the Sigourney Community Schools, who shared information about the eSigourney Entrepreneurial Academy for Leadership. eSEAL incorporates community resources in the learning process through student entrepreneurial businesses and internships.




Fred Bramante



Session 3: Technology and 21st Century Skills, Jan. 28, 2010
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., Iowa State University, discussed the expansion of technology as a tool to enhance student learning. Joining Dr. McLeod was Jeff Dicks, superintendent/high school principal of the Newell-Fonda Community Schools, who presented a model of providing quality technology experiences for students through a 1:1 laptop project. This project permits students to interact with students in other school districts and other countries such as Brazil.  Teachers are also using some on-line resources to support assessment of students.  One of the on-line assessment tools may reached by entering Kubbu on Google.  Individuals may acquire further information about Dr. McLeod’s presentation by entering

Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D.


Session 4: Formative Assessment, April 21, 2010

Margaret Heritage, assistant director for Professional Development at the National Center for Research and Evaluation, UCLA, presented a session focused on formative assessment. Dr. Heritage shared the purpose and importance of formative assessment or assessment for learning. This continuous assessment for learning provides frequent feedback to teachers and students to guide instruction to help close the gap between current and expected achievement and to guide new learning for students.

Joining Dr. Heritage were Amy Jabens, College Community Schools, Matt Townsley, Solon Community Schools, and Eric Townsley, Benton Community Schools who shared their examples and experiences with formative assessment practices in their classrooms.




Margaret Heritage

Session: 5: June 10, 2010
Leadership Teams engaged in analysis of Iowa Core Self Study and system data to prioritize actions and develop initial Iowa Core Implementation Plans.

For more information about the 21st Century Learning series, visit the Professional Development section of the Grant Wood AEA website at

For information about the Iowa Core, visit the Iowa Department of Education’s Iowa Core website at or the Grant Wood AEA website at and click on Iowa Core.