Branstad wants focus on reading and math scores, better prospective teachers

Governor sets two new benchmarks at weekly news conference

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Gov. Terry Branstad laid out two benchmarks for his education reform plan during his weekly news conference Monday.

First, the governor said he wants to see 4th-grade reading and 8th-grade math scores in the top 10 of all states as measured by national tests by 2019. In 2011, Iowa ranked 29th and 25th in those categories, respectively.

Second, the governor said he wants to see higher-caliber students entering the teaching profession as measured by ACT scores. He said the average ACT score for students who said they wanted to enter the teaching profession was 20.8 while the average ACT score for all college students was 22.2.

I think its very ambitious that weve been dropping and then to turn it around and start going in the other direction, Branstad said. I like to set ambitious goals.

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