New data just in: Iowa is rocking seventh place nationwide for the overall health and happiness of its kiddos, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Kids Count Data Book. While they've aced many of the 16 key indicators, there are a few subjects they might need a tutor for. Who hasn’t needed a tutor or ten throughout their education and after that for 20 more years?  

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash
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Reading is fundamental

The report's got its highlighter out for educational stuff, and boy, does Iowa's public school report card have some eyebrow-raising grades. Anne Dichser, Iowa Common Good's top dog, called it as she saw it. 

"Fourth-grade reading? Iowa's 17th in the nation this year," Dichser exclaimed. "That's like two-thirds of fourth graders saying 'What's a book?' And eighth-grade math? We're 16th. Nearly three-quarters of those kiddos are mathematically challenged. We've got work to do!" I understand why Iowa’s kids might be mathematically challenged. Math is scary. Let’s face it, X is still missing and no one has notified the police. Can they find X?

Is there someone we can blame?  

Blaming the pandemic hangover for these academic belly-flops, Dichser assured there are game plans to beef up the brainpower. Meanwhile, Iowa did earn extra credit in the Family and Community category. But hold onto your graduation caps—after two decades as the prom king of high school diplomas, Iowa's now chillin' in seventh place. 

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Despite these academic jitters, Iowa did score some wins: fewer kids are in poverty, fewer solo parents, and even fewer baby storks dropping by. 

So, while Iowa's children might be hitting the books with mixed results, at least they're acing the art of reducing single-parent stress and keeping storks on a diet. 

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Gallery Credit: Courtlin

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Gallery Credit: Intern Reagan

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