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### Alarming Signals Raised by Proposed Education Reform in A-A District – Storm Lake Times Pilot

Supt. Denny Olhausen cautioned the Alta-Aurelia school board regarding the potential ramifications of Governor Kim Reynolds’ far-reaching education reform proposition.

Expressing his apprehensions, Olhausen mentioned that Reynolds’ plan would prioritize proficiency over enhancing performance. He specifically highlighted the proposed modifications to the statewide accountability system for school districts, known as the Iowa School Performance Profiles. These profiles categorize schools as commendable, high performing, acceptable, low performing, or in need of improvement.

Olhausen noted that these changes would not only impact students who are facing challenges but are still showing progress, but also influence how the district’s overall academic performance is portrayed by the state.

Emphasizing the significance of growth in Iowa’s educational framework, Olhausen stated, “We want to take a student from whatever level they’re at to the next. Well, it is kind of unfortunate they are decreasing the importance of growth.”

Furthermore, Reynolds proposed eliminating the conditions of learning environment survey, which allowed students to share their feelings about school and their interactions with peers and teachers. This survey would be replaced by state-mandated absenteeism surveys.

Olhausen expressed concerns about the potential effects of these changes on school performance, highlighting the uncertainty of whether they would yield positive or negative outcomes.

Despite the rise in absenteeism in Iowa schools following the pandemic, the absentee rates in all grades within the A-A school district remain below the statewide average. However, Olhausen stressed that absenteeism might not accurately reflect the classroom environment’s impact on students.

In conclusion, Olhausen underscored the importance of considering the holistic educational experience and the role schools play in students’ growth and well-being.