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Old 09-10-2010, 12:53 PM
 
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I really don't think there is even a remote chance of Iowa ending up as another California. That's what people in Oregon and Washington state are dealing with right now. Iowa is so far away from that situation that a worry like that beyond silly.

In any case, those of you think Iowa is perfect as is need not worry. The state continues to bleed people, especially educated young people (sure you may say good riddance, but this demographic also includes people like doctors -- which is why Iowa was one of the first states to let certain types of nurses practice medicine without physician supervision).

As such, you will be enjoying ever more open space (fewer people) outside a few clusters of cities (Des Moines, Iowa City, etc.), fewer physicians and other services necessary or not.

I don't know about clean air. Some of those open spaces have hog farms nearby. The air and water are not what I would call "clean." But then, there is always North Dakota. Lots of open space and clean air. And more interesting landscape too.
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Old 09-10-2010, 07:49 PM
 
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I hate saying this, because Iowa is one of the most friendly and down-home states I have been in, nothing I can think of as having a bad experience any time I was in Iowa, but face it, people that want some hip destination won't find it there. No, there are no oceans there (Myrtle Beach and Malibu are a long way from there in each direction). No, no mountains or even too many hills there (both Appalachians and Rockies are a long, long way, even Ozarks are several hundred miles south in Missouri), the Great Lakes are a long way, as are the Minnesota/Wisconsin/Michigan northwoods and lakes. No big urban centers, such as New York, Chicago, or even St. Louis or Cincinnati or Atlanta, and no entertainment centers, such as Broadway, L.A./Hollywood, or Nashville, and winter sucks, with no Aspen or Vail or even a Snowshoe, W.Va., to take advantage of it. What you will find there are great people, generally clean towns and villages, tidy landscapes, and a wonderful place to raise your children. You be the judge.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:53 PM
 
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"A wonderful place to raise your children." I hear this a lot about Iowa. What objective factors make it such a great place to rear children? What advantages does the state offer that other similarly rural/suburban areas do not offer?
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Central Hell, California
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As far as clean air, no place is perfect, but I currently live in the Central valley of California and it is nothing more than a microwave bowl with a thick layer of smog for a blanket, there is a perpetual gray/green haze in the air here. The skies in Iowa are clean and blue in comparison. Hog farms, if thats the worst you have...I am all for it. We have days when the air is so bad they keep the kid inside school and advise people only to go out when you have to...no thanks. Yes, you are going to lose young people, but alot of them will also come back. And as for being better for raising children, your schools alone are a huge attraction for me. Your state spends $1,000 more per student than California does. No state is perfect, they all have their problems. I could fill this page with what I think is wrong with California and there are people here that think it is great. I guess its good that there are 50 states, because everyone likes something different.
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Old 09-11-2010, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Bettendorf, IA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiaLimaDelta View Post
I wholeheartedly agree that building a Chicago-style urban area is probably not the answer. Chicago may draw young Iowans away from Iowa, but it is not drawing people from other parts of the country, the type of demographic discussed earlier (young affluent professionals). I'd say a good model would be more along the lines of Portland, Oregon.

Iowans often speak of its "excellent school system." This may be true of the universities. Both Iowa State and U of I. are excellent "bang-for-the-buck" schools, especially in the sciences (of course, no one knows or cares about them outside the Midwest). However, contrary to the often heard assertions of Iowans, Iowa's primary and seconary public schools are far from excellent. For example, Iowa's high schools posted middling to low numbers on number of AP classes taken per capita. Iowa ONCE had good public secondary schools, but they have been surpassed by the average. Holding all other variables constant, students in states with teachers unions have not done well in the past 10 years.
I think Iowa's reputation as having excellent public schools is mainly due to the fact that the state has no major urban centers. Big cities seldom have what is considered good public schools. Many of them (St. Louis and Kansas City, MO) have such poor school systems their own states do not even accredidate them. The point is Iowa's schools do not have to deal with issues facing large cities so it is easier to develop good public schools.
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Des Moines
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiaLimaDelta View Post
I wholeheartedly agree that building a Chicago-style urban area is probably not the answer. Chicago may draw young Iowans away from Iowa, but it is not drawing people from other parts of the country, the type of demographic discussed earlier (young affluent professionals). I'd say a good model would be more along the lines of Portland, Oregon.

Iowans often speak of its "excellent school system." This may be true of the universities. Both Iowa State and U of I. are excellent "bang-for-the-buck" schools, especially in the sciences (of course, no one knows or cares about them outside the Midwest). However, contrary to the often heard assertions of Iowans, Iowa's primary and seconary public schools are far from excellent. For example, Iowa's high schools posted middling to low numbers on number of AP classes taken per capita. Iowa ONCE had good public secondary schools, but they have been surpassed by the average. Holding all other variables constant, students in states with teachers unions have not done well in the past 10 years.
Tit for Tat, there's plenty of metrics to use when discussing education system performance, but it should be noted that Iowa students performed 2nd best in the nation on the ACT college entrance exam. Iowa's SAT scores were the highest in the nation, but this may be an outlier since the ACT exam is the more common college entrance exam in these parts. By and large, our college bound students aren't leaving here in dire straits as a result of the education system.

Sources: hthttp://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20100818/NEWS02/8180353/-1/ENT06/Iowa-students-ACT-scores-again-No.-2-in-nationtp://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2010/09/13/iowas-sat-scores-top-the-nation/

Iowa’s SAT scores top the nation | Des Moines Register Staff Blogs
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Old 09-14-2010, 06:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by DMRyan View Post
Tit for Tat, there's plenty of metrics to use when discussing education system performance, but it should be noted that Iowa students performed 2nd best in the nation on the ACT college entrance exam. Iowa's SAT scores were the highest in the nation, but this may be an outlier since the ACT exam is the more common college entrance exam in these parts. By and large, our college bound students aren't leaving here in dire straits as a result of the education system.

Sources: hthttp://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20100818/NEWS02/8180353/-1/ENT06/Iowa-students-ACT-scores-again-No.-2-in-nationtp://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2010/09/13/iowas-sat-scores-top-the-nation/

Iowa’s SAT scores top the nation | Des Moines Register Staff Blogs
Actually, your statement is incomplete. The actual statement is "[Iowa] ACT scores remained second-highest in the country among states that test more than half their students." While impressive sounding, without knowing the stats of those states where the participation rate is less than 50 percent (but still significant enough), we have no way of knowing how Iowa students fared in comparison, especially since in many states ACT is not the most popular college entrance exam.

As for the SAT scores, we have an opposite problem with the ranking given this "evidence" -- "That’s good news for the 3 percent of Iowa’s class of 2010 who took the test." Three percent is a pretty selective lot, even if it is self-selective. Considering that the main college entrance test taken in Iowa is the ACT, those who took the SAT (likely in addition to the ACT) is probably a highly selective lot in Iowa.

The problem with using newspaper articles of this sort is that it does not link to the original reports where one can see actual parameters used to determine the ranks. We can't see how the parameters and caveats of the stats were gamed to come up with this "no. 1" and "no. 2" spots.

So we have no way of knowing, for example, how the entire school population (as opposed to those self-selected lot who plan to attend college) did in comparison to the same in other states. This is precisely why I used the AP classes taken per capita comparison, because that compares the entire school system populations.

(I did note, by the way, for both ACT and SAT, Iowa's scores DECLINED from the year before.)

Another issue with this claim is the accounting for demographic variables. According to the article itself "Only 15 percent of Iowa's black students and 27 percent of Hispanic students who took the test met the benchmark score that shows they were prepared to pass college algebra. Fifty-three percent of white students met it."

How did the black and Hispanic students fare in other states, for example? We have no way of knowing, from the report, how the fact that Iowa's population is overwhelmingly white affected its ranking in comparison to states where the ethnic mix is different. Would Iowa's school system still have done the same job, if it had to handle a higher proportion of black and Hispanic students?

Lastly, there is another related, but more general issue here. SAT and ACT have been, in general, good predictive indicators of student performance in college. But does it indicate good education? Does it indicate depth of knowledge in increasingly important subjects beyond math and English (computer science, international affairs, mandarin Chinese, etc. that are now increasingly popular in more cosmopolitan school districts) that may impart future vocational competitiveness to students?

These "no. 2 in ACT" and "no. 1 in SAT" rankings for Iowa raise more questions about just how good Iowa's school system is rather than answer them.
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:03 PM
 
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We are hoping for a move back to Iowa after having been around some other states. We want to raise our children there. Sometimes I think it is hard to appreciate what you have until you lose it for a while. Trust me, you don't want to make it like some of the big cities. We are moving back to escape some of the problems that go along with those.
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kkakes View Post
Trust me, you don't want to make it like some of the big cities. We are moving back to escape some of the problems that go along with those.
This (big, bad city with urban problems vs. rural Iowa) is a false choice. There are increasingly many areas of the country that have high median income, high quality schools, high education levels, low crime rate AND access to urban amenities.

If you listen to Iowa-as-is apologists, you'd think the world is divided into Iowa and Detroit.

The fact is pretty clear -- Iowa has a net population drain each year. It may not be apparent now, but the depopulation, if it continues, IS going to lead to some serious economic problems in the future.
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Old 01-18-2011, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,834,327 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiaLimaDelta View Post
This (big, bad city with urban problems vs. rural Iowa) is a false choice. There are increasingly many areas of the country that have high median income, high quality schools, high education levels, low crime rate AND access to urban amenities.

If you listen to Iowa-as-is apologists, you'd think the world is divided into Iowa and Detroit.

The fact is pretty clear -- Iowa has a net population drain each year. It may not be apparent now, but the depopulation, if it continues, IS going to lead to some serious economic problems in the future.

While I agree with your point to some degree, the last statement is false. Iowa has not had a net population drain since the 1980s. Rural Iowa continues to lose population, but thanks to our cities, the state population as a whole is growing.
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