November 28, 2011 Program for Today: Muscatine's Young Professionals Network

November 28 Invocation by: Tom Ward

Guests November 21: Penny Jones, Diane Campbell, Tim Bower, Tammi Drawbaugh, Jan Collinson, Shane Williams, guests of Mary Wildermuth; Joni Axel, guest of Diana Gradert, Mark Lofgren guest of Bob Albee, Joni Anderson, and the MHS Seniors of Ashley Hansen and Katie Hidlebaugh.

President Mike Ruby reminded us that November is Rotary Foundation Month. To become a Rotary Benefactor one can do so by contributing $1000 and to become a Bequest Member you contribute a minimum of $10,000. Mike also told us that Jim Kent has received his sustaining Paul Harris Award. Mike also noted that Tim and Debbie Nelson are the Red Kettle Campaign Co-Chairs for this year. Tim reminded us to sign upto ring bells!!

H appy News for the Day: Iowa State Fans celebrated by sharing the victorious news..Kip Fisher, SolLoBianco, Larry Hetzler, Dick Stanley and Marv Krieger...with Marv telling his story of the 630 group..., Barb Christensen thanked the Community Foundation for the Festival of Wreaths matching grant enabling the event to be very successful with initial $$$ count being between $8 and 10,000. Harvey Albee was happy too and applauded the Hawkeyes and Barb for the Festival of Wreaths and purchasing a Joanne Necklace...Judi Holdorf's daughter-in-law is famous now for baking birthday cupcakes for the Governor...the Cupcake Queen she is!!

Charlie Lewis then recognized Don Holt for his contribution to Rotary and his award of Honorary Paul Harris Sustaining Fellow..Don has travelled extensively in the world to all 50 states and been on all continents!! Congrats!!

Program for today: Jason Glass, Director State of Iowa Department of Education introduced by Mark Lofgren, State Representative. Jason was impressed with the Muscatine Schools and encouraged everyone to go visit a school and see the excitement of learning!! He was certain that we knew of the "Education Blueprint "and highlighted several bold reform ideas...1. great teachers should be leaders of teachers 2. high expectations for students ...including measurement 3. build a spirit of innovation.

Iowa has a good school system but it is not accelerating fast enough to keep up with other premier educational systems in the world.

Jason plans to build a big tent around consensus...we need to be BOLD, and tackle the tough problems and do the hard work. Several questions were asked about test scores in Muscatine, big test companies and their impact on testing, involvement of parents and grandparents in the schools and what are stellar school systems. Jason indicated that assessment data is important and should not be dismissed.

He encouraged discussion around year round school, differentiated teaching roles. paying teachers more and generally encouraged us to get involved in the action...whether conversation or decisionmaking!!