DES MOINES — Iowa’s education chief said today that Iowa students have made some improvements in achievement over the past year, but there remain areas of concern as policy makers and elected officials consider ways to reform Iowa’s education system.

“We see some incremental improvements in some areas, and that’s good news I think for the state. Our enrollment seems to be trending up, and that’s good news, too,” said Glass, who has served as Gov. Terry Branstad’s director of the Iowa Department of Education for the past two years.

Glass is expected to discuss specifics of the yearly Condition of Education report with the state Board of Education later today. He said the report is a mixed bag for Iowa’s 348 school districts.

“We see some encouraging news, but there’s still plenty of work ahead,” he said.

“We still face a large and chronic achievement gap,” Glass noted.

“There are places where we’ve stagnated; there are places where I think we’ve made some improvements. As a state we seem to be slowly trending up in the right direction overall, but our achievement gaps still persist.”

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The statistics are reflective of real people and real students, which means individuals. Unless we address the problem of apathy and lack of involvement by the parents, nothing is going to change. It isn't hard to identify which kids perform well and which kids don't. There are too many kids whose parents are too ignorant, or drug and alcohol addled, or too busy still acting like runaway teens themselves to properly help their kids succeed. Unless there is a parent available to make sure kids study, help them with their work when needed, feed them properly, and provide a loving atmosphere, it is all going to fail. In short, our schools, our teachers, our school administration, and our kids are reflective of our cultural woes.

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