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Gary Scholten - The Principal Financial Group

Gary ScholtenIowa has a rich heritage of providing a strong education for our children. The Principal Financial Group and other Iowa businesses have benefited from a strong workforce that graduated from Iowa schools.

But things are changing, and workforce needs are changing. The Principal supports the Iowa Core, and I joined the Iowa Core Commission, because the Core maintains Iowa’s history of determining the content of our state academic standards.

The 2013 education reform bill, which The Principal proudly supported, provides a great step forward in preparing our schools for success and enabling our teachers to continue Iowa’s strong educational heritage. The next step to build upon that education reform is to create more consistency in the knowledge and abilities of our high school graduates. Too many students have graduated who are not prepared to continue with their education in college or trade school, or to pursue entry-level jobs. The Iowa Core ensures students complete each grade with a consistent set of knowledge and abilities to move forward with their education.

I also am privileged to serve on the Governor’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Advisory Council. Our STEM programs are creating awareness about the amazing job opportunities that await those that pursue careers in these areas. STEM jobs require high school graduates to have the critical-thinking skills and mathematics background necessary to pursue STEM college degrees. The Iowa Core is an important component of preparing our future STEM workforce, which is a critical need for The Principal and  Iowa’s economy.