Collaborating for Iowa's Kids

The Collaboration for Iowa’s Kids (C4K) is a partnership among the Area Education Agencies (AEA), the Iowa Department of Education (DE) and local school districts.  The intent of C4K is to work more effectively and efficiently as a full educational system to accomplish a few agreed upon priorities.  To this end, each month the over 100 members of C4K come together to discuss, guide and enact strategies that support Iowa’s educational system.  

The C4K initial priority focus, collective efforts and resources are on early literacy and closing the achievement gaps with the goal that every child is proficient by the end of third grade.  The C4K selected this priority focus because of the integral role literacy proficiency plays for success in all other academic and social areas.

To attain this goal, C4K studied high-performing systems around the world, reviewed Iowa’s performance across Iowa Assessments and the National Assessment for Educational Progress, reviewed Iowa’s strengths and challenges, and distilled what has been shown to work into four inter-connected strategies that when leveraged, result in higher performance and greater success for children/youth:
  • Standards and Curriculum (the what) 
  • Educator Quality (the who)
  • Response to Intervention (the how) 
  • School Improvement (assessing quality and need for improvement)
Work Teams have been commissioned by C4K to identify/develop evidence-based frameworks, practices, actions, programs and related supports to accomplish the four major strategies.  To ensure coherence between these four strategies, a work coordination team has been established to coordinate among work teams and across C4K.  
Brief History
C4K was conceptualized within the Area Education Agency system to more effectively work as partners with the Iowa Department of Education (DE) as well as across the AEA system.  C4K was established in 2011-12, and resulted in several outcomes; four of these outcomes include:
  1. Collective commitment across AEAs and the DE to work as a unified system;
  2. Agreement that the role of the DE is to set direction and lead, and the role of the AEAs is to implement;
  3. Agreement that LEAs are integral, and need to be included in C4K; and
  4. Commitment to focus efforts and resources on selected priorities.
Beginning Fall 2012, the DE broadened commitment to C4K by increasing personnel participation from five to twenty-five departmental staff from the Division of Learning and Results.  By January 2013, C4K expanded to include representation across local districts.  To date, C4K membership includes all AEA Chiefs, special education directors, educational service directors, and media directors, local district superintendents, principals and teachers, as well as 25 DE administrative and consultant personnel.  C4K meets each month to guide Iowa’s educational system toward attaining the goal that every child will be proficient in reading by the end of third grade across subgroups.

For more information about the history of C4K, please see this summary documentFor questions or inquiries, contact Barbara Ohlund.

Subpages (1): Stories from Phase One