Sunday, August 30, 2009
Nebraska P-16 goals are as follows:
- Adopt a college and career preparation core curriculum that requires four years of English and three years each of math, science and social studies in Nebraska school districts by the 2014-15 school year.
- Eliminate the academic achievement gap between Nebraska’s K-12 Caucasian students and its African American, Hispanic, and Native American students.
- Develop an effective longitudinal data system which provides information on the Nebraska educational system from preschool through post-graduate degree attainment and entry into the workforce to help align resources with strategic goals.
- Improve Nebraska’s high school graduation rate to 90 percent.
- Improve Nebraska’s college-going rank to the Top 10 tier nationally.
- Provide affordable access for Nebraska students to attend Nebraska’s postsecondary institutions.
- Improve time to degree completion and increase graduation rates of Nebraska’s postsecondary institutions.
- Increase by five percent the number of teacher education graduates in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) within Nebraska postsecondary institutions.
An essential goal is to adopt a core curriculum focused on preparing students for college and their future careers by the 2014 – 2015 school year. Every student graduating from a Nebraska high school needs four years of English and three years of math, science and social studies.
We need to set more rigorous expectations for students to help ensure they graduate from our schools having mastered the essential areas that will help them succeed in life. This core curriculum is essential to helping our students compete in a knowledge-based, technology-driven, global, free market economy. We need to equip our students for success in this modern age where they will be asked to be critical thinkers, innovators and entrepreneurs.
Another challenge schools need to address is the academic achievement gap that exists for many students in our state. The gaps are very real and we have set our sights high. Our goal is to eliminate existing achievement gaps. We cannot afford to lose a generation of students.
If we can raise expectations and ensure students are mastering the essential skills needed for success in our K-12 schools, our next goal will be within reach, which is improving Nebraska’s high school graduation rate to 90 percent.
Several goals are aimed at ensuring success in higher education, starting with achieving a top 10 college-going rate. The National Center for Educational Statistics ranks Nebraska19th in the nation. We can do better. To compete in today’s workplace, every student needs at least two years of college. We will also be working hard to ensure Nebraska’s higher education institutions remains affordable for Nebraska families.
These goals are about preparing our students for the 21st Century. Today’s students are more likely to be innovators, critical thinkers and entrepreneurs. Academic rigor and high standards of academic excellence are very important.
Our work is just beginning. Our vision for providing a stronger education for students is critical to Nebraska’s future.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Dear Fellow Nebraskans:
Today I want to introduce you to Col. Judd Lyons, the Nebraska National Guard’s next Adjutant General.
In a few weeks our current Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Tim Kadavy, will become Deputy Director of the Army National Guard at the Bureau Headquarters in Arlington, Va. He has been an outstanding leader for the Nebraska National Guard. It’s clear his talents have been recognized at the federal level and we wish him the best as he prepares for this new responsibility.
Col. Lyons will be promoted to brigadier general and receive command of the Nebraska National Guard from Kadavy during a ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 23. He has served more than 29 years with the Nebraska National Guard. He has held numerous command and staff positions. He will lead the more than 4,800 Air and Army personnel making up the Nebraska National Guard.
In addition to commanding Nebraska’s military forces, he will serve as a member of my cabinet and as director of the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, working with the state’s civilian emergency preparedness and disaster response personnel.
Col. Lyons recently became the director of the joint staff where he is responsible for budget, personnel management, training, and equipment for the Nebraska National Guard. His experience also includes commanding forces, first as a Captain and a Lt. Colonel, and now twice as a Colonel. He led a team training the Afghan National Army and police forces two years ago. Currently he serves as commander of the Guard’s 92nd Troop Command.
Col. Lyon’s military training started before he enlisted with the Guard in 1980 when he attended high school at Missouri Military Academy. He attended Officer Candidate School at Camp Ashland and was commissioned as an infantry second lieutenant in 1983. His first assignment was serving as a battalion assistant operations officer with the 1-134th Infantry in Omaha.
Since then, he has spent a significant part of his military career at the Nebraska Army National Guard headquarters planning unit mobilizations, managing recruiting efforts, commanding the Guard’s training facilities, and serving as the Army Guard’s human resources officer.
In 2005, he became the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, coordinated the deployment of Nebraska Guard personnel activated to assist with recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast.
Col. Lyons is familiar with the challenges our soldiers and airmen face during active duty deployments. In 2006, he deployed to northern Afghanistan to serve as commander of the 209th Regional Security Assistance Command, which was responsible for training and equipping members of the Afghan National Army and national police forces.
He understands the deployment challenges our Guard personnel face, and he cares about our military families. His wife, Lt. Col. Amy Lyons, is a JAG officer with the Nebraska National Guard and has deployed to Macedonia and Iraq. Judd and Amy have three sons, two of whom now serve in the National Guard. As parents, they have confronted some of the same challenges of other Guard families when their oldest son deployed to Iraq with Nebraska’s 267th Maintenance Company.
Col. Lyons has demonstrated that he has the ability and the experience to be the next leader of the Nebraska National Guard. I know he will be an outstanding Adjutant General, and I look forward to working with him.