Former businessman Mark Jacobs returns home to dedicate himself to bettering education
Iowa native Mark Jacobs, hailing from Des Moines, enjoyed illustrious careers in Houston, Texas and New York before returning to his home state to work on improving education.
Jacobs lamented the fact that Iowa is no longer at the top of the education chain nationwide – the state was formerly part of the top two in terms of standard of education back when he was in high school.
Upon returning to Iowa, Jacobs decided he would try to make a difference to boost Iowa back to the top of the education food chain.
Among Jacobs’ suggestions was to alter the way state assessment is conducted: currently, state assessment is not in line with state standards, students are rated by percentile meaning it does not translate into objective results.
Jacob claimed that school districts would better improve their working relationships if they changed the percentile rating, selecting instead a tool of common measurement that could be shared.
Jacobs emphasizes improving conditions for teachers and educators
One of Jacobs’ key strategies to improve Iowa education is to attract the very best teaching candidates by offering excellent compensation and long-term benefits.
Once a great staff is established, Jacobs encourages ongoing opportunities for school staff – principals as well as teachers – to educate themselves further and continue to develop themselves professionally.
Jacobs also aims to improve the charter school laws in Iowa to encourage top quality charter schools to come to the state and allow Iowa families to choose the best educational environment to suit their children (i.e. public or charter).
Finally, Jacobs stressed the importance of a state’s community being involved with education, encouraging Iowa businesses to step up and participate in an outreach program, offer internships, and more.