A shocking college cheating scandal that's still making headlines could speed the trend of colleges and universities de-emphasizing admissions testing, with some questioning whether it heralds the end of a college-bound rite of passage - one that could have implications for a major Corridor employer.
"Is the College Cheating Scandal the 'Final Straw' for Standardized Tests?" the New York Times asked on March 14 of the test-gaming scheme that called the credibility of college testing into question. The Washington Post followed up days later with a headline asking, "Is it finally time to get rid of the SAT and ACT college admissions tests?"
The largest college testing cheating and bribery scandal in U.S. history ensnared 50 people, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, in an illegal scheme to get students into elite universities, including Stanford, the University of Southern California, Yale and Georgetown.  
In some cases, impersonators took exams, while in others, insiders at test sites were paid to change answers or fill in missing responses. Proctors and test site personnel were bribed via a phony charity to ignore illegal acts, and parents made fake disability claims to gain extra test taking time.
Experts, including critics of standardized exams, say the high-stakes tests aren't going away any time soon. Nor is the scandal likely to significantly hurt the bottom lines of the College Board, administrator of the SAT, or Iowa City-based ACT, both of which have been working to diversify their offerings in the past few years.
However, the black eye comes as a growing number of institutions are going "test optional" to ensure their doors are open to a more diverse pool of potential students. The tests, traditionally a key consideration for college admissions officials, were taken by a record 4 million students in 2018. Now opinion leaders like the Times are suggesting the scandal could become "a watershed moment for the rejection of standardized tests at every level of the education system - but particularly in college admissions."

Read the full members-only story in this week's print or digital edition of the CBJ.
IIowa added more than 1K new tech jobs in 2018, group finds 

A graphic showing Iowa's leading tech industry sectors, according to the new assessment by CompTIA.
Technology-related employment in Iowa grew by more than 1,000 new jobs in 2018, according to the latest annual assessment by tech industry association CompTIA.

Net tech employment in the state grew by an estimated 1,014 jobs in 2018, a 1.1 percent increase over 2017. The growth was driven by new software and web development positions (up 3.6 percent) and computer system and cybersecurity analysts (up 2.7 percent).
The median tech occupation wage in Iowa is $70,099 - 81 percent higher than the median wage for all occupations in the state.

Iowa now ranks 30th nationwide in net tech employment, with more than 92,000 workers. That makes up approximately 5.5 percent of the state's workforce.

The outlook for future employment growth also remains positive, despite a debilitating workforce shortage. Iowa saw a 64 percent increase in the number of job postings related to emerging technologies, such as the Internet of Things, smart cities, drones, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality and blockchain, according to the CompTIA analysis. It projects the base of tech occupation employment - a subset of net tech employment - to reach 9.4 percent by 2026.

"The findings attest to a tech labor market that will remain tight as employers balance short-term needs with an eye towards the future," said Tim Herbert, senior vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. "As digital-human models begin to unfold, employers and employees alike will face new challenges - and opportunities, in shaping the workforce of tomorrow."

The full report, with complete national, state and metropolitan level data, is available here.
Para3Register today for CBJ's annual 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes
McGrath Automotive President Pat McGrath, speaking at the 2018 edition of 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes. 
Don't miss your chance to attend the Corridor Business Journal's annual 90 Ideas in 90 Minutes event, to be held May 1 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at Theatre Cedar Rapids.
The event invites nine Corridor leaders to share their 10 best ideas, big or small, which can be applied to any business. Each speaker will have five minutes to present. Speakers may discuss all 10 ideas or focus on a few, but attendees will receive all 90 ideas in a special exclusive supplement.
Speakers include:
  1. Sarika Bhakta of Nikeya Diversity Consulting LLC
  2. Kim Casko of Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce
  3. Mark Ginsberg of M.C. Ginsberg
  4. Katie Hallman of Theatre Cedar Rapids
  5. Aaron Kampman of The Align Process
  6. Anne Parmley of Pearson
  7. Okpara Rice of Tanager Place
  8. Duane Smith of TrueNorth Companies
  9. Lori Sundberg of Kirkwood Community College
Tickets are $40 and breakfast will be provided. For more information or to register, visit corridorbusiness.com/90-ideas-in-90-minutes  or call Ashley Levitt at (319) 665-6397, ext. 311. Registration ends April 24.
Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids and the University of Iowa College of Nursing have both been selected by Iowa Workforce Development to receive funding meant to expand registered apprenticeship opportunities in the state.
Kirkwood will receive $37,500 to grow its registered apprenticeship programs, while the UI College of Nursing will receive $150,000 to start one.
The funding comes from an ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grant Iowa Workforce Development recently received from the U.S. Department of Labor. It focuses on expanding opportunities in health care and advanced manufacturing, the fastest-growing and largest employment sectors in the state, as well as increasing the participation of women, youth, minorities, veterans and people with disabilities.
"Congratulations to Kirkwood Community College and University of Iowa College of Nursing for making a strong commitment to grow registered apprenticeship programs in Iowa, in a critical field," Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development, said in a release. "These efforts will help Iowa meet our Future Ready Iowa goal, as well as train more Iowans in an industry that is high growth that pays a great salary."
Kirkwood and the UI join 13 other schools and organizations around the state that have received funding from the expansion grant.
More grant opportunities are available for organizations interested in expanding quality pre-apprenticeship and high school registered apprenticeship programs. The application deadline is 1 p.m. on May 10. The guidelines for submitting a proposal are available online .
Para5Iowa Health Information Network partners with PatientPing
The Iowa Health Information Network (IHIN), the official statewide health information exchange in Iowa, has announced a partnership with PatientPing, a nationwide care coordination platform.  
The partnership aims to improve care for patients across hundreds of hospitals, clinics, post-acute care facilities, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), health plans and other community health care organizations throughout Iowa.
Through the partnership, PatientPing will provide real-time notifications (pings) and critical patient context (stories) to treating providers within IHIN's network. The partnership will also seek to include all Medicaid Managed Care Organizations across the state. PatientPing will enable providers using the tool to improve care for high-risk, high-utilizing patients, as well as those participating under value-based care initiatives in order to improve care and reduce costs.  
IHIN will be using PatientPing in place of Iowa's Statewide Alert Notification (SWAN) system so that providers will be able to coordinate care for their shared patients on one centralized platform.
"IHIN is dedicated to improving care, increasing security, streamlining treatment and reducing medical errors," Stephen Stewart, CEO of IHIN, stated in a press release. "Through our new partnership with PatientPing, we can advance all of those goals. Additionally, the adoption of interoperable, real-time notifications will lead to better results for our members, and help improve care for patients across the state."
Mr. Stewart noted that this advancement of care coordination technology is especially valuable for providers entering into value-based payment arrangements that hold them financially accountable for outcomes, care-quality measures and total costs of care.
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stockCorridor Stocks

AEGON AEG 4.96 0.01 0.10%
Alliant Energy LNT 46.55 -0.3 -0.64%
Deere & Company DE 162.11 0.20 0.12%
Dow Jones ^DJI 26,179.13 -79.29 -0.30%
General Mills GIS 50.98 -0.01 -0.02%
GoDaddy Inc. GDDY 75.79 0.21 0.28%
Great Western Bank GWB 32.43 -0.25 -0.76%
Heartland Express HTLD 19.25 -0.07 -0.36%
KemPharm KMPH 1.84 0.05 2.79%
Marsh & McLennan MMC 94.46 -0.35 -0.37%
MidWestOne MOFG 27.89 -0.75 -2.62%
Pearson PSO 11.17 -0.03 -0.27%
Pepsico PEP 121.68 -0.32 -0.26%
Principal Financial PFG 51.72 -0.26 -0.50%
QCR Holdings QCRH 34.01 -0.31 -0.90%
S&P 500 ^GSPC 2,867.24 0.05 0.00%
Tanger Factory SKT 20.10 -0.25 -1.23%
Procter & Gamble PG 103.77 0.13 0.13%
United Fire Group UFCS 43.55 -0.21 -0.48%
U.S. Bank USB 49.13 0.06 0.12%
United Technologies UTX 131.92 -1.27 -0.95%
Wells Fargo WFC 48.18 -0.63 -1.29%
West Bank WTBA 20.83 -0.19 -0.90%
Whirlpool WHR 134.57 0.10 0.07%
Short-Term Event Planner
April 3
1 Million Cups, by 1MC Cedar Rapids, 8:15-9:15 a.m., Geonetric, 415 12th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. Join for community connections, free coffee, and presentations by entrepreneurs, established companies, experts and more. Free. For more information, visit facebook.com/1MCICR.
1 Million Cups, by 1MC Iowa City, 9-10 a.m., MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. Join for community connections, free coffee, and presentations by entrepreneurs, established companies, experts and more . Free. For more information, visit   facebook.com/1MillionCupsIC/.
April 4
Women of Influence, by the Corridor Business Journal, 5-8 p.m., DoubleTree by Hilton, 350 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids. The 15th-annual Women of Influence awards identify and honor women who have made a difference as role models and leaders in their fields and community. Tickets: $55, or $550 for a table of 10. For more information, visit corridorbusiness.com/events.
Shaking the Money Tree, by SCORE East Central Iowa, 6-7:30 p.m., Cedar Rapids Ladd Library, 3750 Williams Blvd. SW. This workshop will explore funding sources and how business owners should prepare themselves to take advantage of funding opportunities. Free. To register, visit conta.cc/2TjNCdM.
April 9
TechBrew, by Technology Association of Iowa, 8-9 a.m., Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 501 First St. SE. Brian Waller, TAI president, conducts casual interviews with CIOs who share their favorite music, discuss their career path and share what's most important for the Iowa technology community. Free. To register, visit technologyiowa.org/events.
Building Your Human Firewall, by Kirkwood Corporate Training and ProCircular, 8:30-10:30 a.m., The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids. This training program will help employees understand their unique and critical role in security. End users will learn techniques on how to quickly identify and respond (or not respond) to the latest cyberthreats. Cost: $39. For more information, visit bit.ly/kctcyberescape or call (319) 398-1022.
Marketing Forum, by Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., Economic Alliance, 501 First St. SE. This forum is designed to foster the growth and development of marketing professionals. Participants will receive advice and tips, learn from others and grow their professional network. This month's topic is websites and search engine optimization. Free. To register, visit www.cedarrapids.org.
Membership 101, by Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Economic Alliance, 501 First St. SE. Find out how to best utilize your membership, meet other new members, and hear from existing members on the best ways to utilize membership. Free. To register, visit bit.ly/2EQrbIa .
Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28 
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
The Marion City Council will debate a proposed speed change to Highway 13 North, reacting to the fast-growing area and the addition of several high-profile projects. "We have seen a lot of development in the area and so the city council will consider asking the Iowa DOT to consider lower the speed limit," City Engineer Mike Barkalow said. "It has not been approved yet thus the discussion at City Council as an agenda item." Highway 13's speed was last changed in 2017 and the process took two years to complete. The Marion Police Department welcomes the idea of reducing speeds as early as possible, getting people used to new restrictions and speeding up the process with the Prospect Meadows ballpark set to open in May. "We would like to get the public already slowing down. We want this on their mindset. We want them to have a conscious awareness before the ball park opens," Tom Daubs, public information officer with the Marion Police Department said. "There is an issue with the speed zone in effect now. Any time you deal with government entities like the DOT you need to get that in writing earlier than later." Read the full story here.

A former jewelry store manager is facing another theft charge after selling stolen jeweling to repay what he owed from a previous jewelry theft. A Johnson County criminal complaint says 25-year-old Troy Woods attempted to sell jewelry to a company in New York City nine months after he was fired from Kay Jewelers for a previous theft that he had pleaded guilty to. Two of the pieces sold to the New York City jewelry broker were valued in excess $20,000. Mr. Woods admitted to investigators that he was selling the jewelry to pay off restitution from his previous case. Mr. Woods is again charged with first-degree theft.
T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast
This morning's precipitation will end by mid-day and clouds will break up. Temperatures will climb into the upper 40s to mid-50s this afternoon. Another cold front will move into Eastern Iowa Wednesday morning and will likely stall out across our area. This boundary will be the trigger for rainfall Wednesday and through the day Thursday. There will be a high pressure system located to the north which will attempt to push dry air into the area. This is leading to uncertainty in exactly how much rain will fall.