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Iowa City hosts second NLC roundtable on education.

Capitalizing on the successful education roundtable, held in the fall in Pittsburgh, NLC's Children and Families in Cities Project sponsored a second education partnership roundtable in Iowa City Iowa. The roundtable was held at the request of Neil Harrison, alderman, Davenport and Jon Crews, mayor, Cedar Falls.

Arriving ready to tackle their education concerns, teams from Cedar Falls, Champaign, Ill., Davenport, and Iowa City, began immediately to look at the barriers to educating young people. Barriers included myths such unavailability of the principal, lack of parental interest; mobility issues such as school turnovers; and recognizing cultural diversity.

Once the city teams revealed the barriers, they were able to move immediately into conceptulizing their vision of the future of education in their city and the creation of an action agenda.

Although each team developed lengthy vision lists, the following is a brief sample of their thoughts:

The Iowa City team invisioned the community as a coalition around children's needs.

Cedar Falls discussed using technology to help develop a more individualized educational program for each student.

Davenport's team invisioned developing teacher intervention strategies particularly with children of color and at-risk families.

The city of Champaign looked at the notion of creating a stimulating environment and school equality.

Iowa City officials served as host of the roundtable event which was held on March 20-21. Along with Iowa City group, mayors of the participating cities each selected a team of four or more key players. In order to provide technical assistance to individual city teams, the number of participating cities was limited.

The roundtable concept was developed by NLC as a means to help cities discover new ways of promoting children's education in their communities. So far convening a cadre of community partners to clarify municipal roles, learn from each other, and create and action plan for implementation seems to be an excellent way to get ideas out and tasks accomplished over a short period of time.

The participants included local elected officials, school board members, business leaders, educators, city administrators, local community organizations and parents.


This team will recommend to their city the establishment of neighborhood community centers in school buildings that provide service and support for all ages.

Other recommendations included:

[sub-section] staff development which is particularly attuned to cultural and racial sensitivity

[sub-section] Consensus on how to teach and what to teach

[sub-section] Involving the whole community in the teaching process

Iowa City

This team focused on instituting the community as the school. As a means of accomplishing this task, there proposal included to:

[sub-section] Improve communications between jurisdictions

[sub-section] Take meetings to the neighborhood

[sub-section] Raising workplace awareness by establishing a "Library Literacy" Program

Cedar Falls

This team established a mission statement that addresses the preparation of students academically and socially inorder to lead productive and fulfilling lives, with the ability to adapt and contribute to the changing needs of a globally interdependent society.

They propose to:

[sub-section] Expand the definition of the "classroom: to include more real life experiences

[sub-section] Assist teachers to become better facilitators, enablers and collaborators

[sub-section] Develop a more interdisciplinary curriculum

Champaign, Ill.

Team leaders from this community developed a strategy that would:

[sub-section] Establish a joint meeting schedule for the city and the school system

[sub-section] Determine shared services needs

[sub-section] Increase collaboration to identify community-wide needs and develop action agendas for addressing them.
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Title Annotation:includes related information on the next scheduled roundtable; National League of Cities
Author:Kelsey, Serita R.
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Mar 30, 1992
Previous Article:New guide on city management stresses goals.
Next Article:Health care reform - will this be the year?

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