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Future Ready

Future ready wheel that outlines the continuous improvement processIowa is one of many states that include postsecondary attainment data as part of its accountability system in evaluating and reporting out on school district performance.  Now, in addition to reporting out on proficiency levels and standardized test performance, districts will also be evaluated in part by how well their graduates perform after leaving school.

Iowa’s AEAs are creating and providing resources to assist schools in this work that is focused on five core service areas.

The graphic included on this page is available as a PDF that includes active links at each stage designed to assist our districts with process. That document can be accessed here: Future Ready Cycle

Links to specific areas included within the graphic are below.

Assessing Need – Are our students Future Ready?

Analysis – In what ways are/aren’t our students Future Ready?

Implementation – What might be some ways to ensure that our students are Future Ready?

Collaboration – Who might we collaborate with to ensure that our students are Future Ready?

Evaluation – In what ways has our work been successful?

There are three underlying beliefs that guide this work:

Equity must be embedded throughout any type of Future Ready work. Equity is a process through which we ensure that policies, practices, institutional cultures, and ideologies are actively equitable, purposefully attending to the interests of the students and families to whose interests we have attended inequitably. ~Paul Gorsky

Future Readiness begins at birth and continues throughout the life time. The world is changing quickly and the challenges we face as a larger community continue to evolve so it is vital to start providing future ready opportunities and experiences for our youngest learners. Future Readiness must truly embrace and support the idea of being a lifelong learner.

Systems – The work of Future Readiness does not live in one department or one area. For this work to be effective, it must be done in systems. One example of this systemic PreK-12 work is the Portrait/Profile of a Graduate, which helps districts and communities reimagine the graduation outcomes that best position Iowa graduates for success now and in the future.

1 DataSupport leadership, school improvement, and/or counseling teams to effectively use a variety of Future Ready data sources and think-abouts in their evidence-driven planning and alignment with ESSA and Differentiated Accountability.


2 Transition

Ensure integrated strategies for improving PK-12 to postsecondary transition services for all students, with an emphasis on under-represented students, especially those with disabilities.


3 RigorIdentify and improve high‐quality instruction based on Iowa’s Academic Standards (content, 21st-century skills and Universal Constructs), especially for high‐need and underserved students and on closing opportunity gaps.


4 PartnershipsExpand high‐quality, work‐based learning experiences in various fields and careers for all students by enhancing partnerships in education, business, and community.


5 RelevanceSupport the implementation of learner-centered, personalized, and/or competency-based education as pathways to future readiness and success.

Independent survey results show that local schools count on Iowa’s AEAs for excellence in special education; educational services; and instruction, media, and technology.