A legislative proposal from the Branstad-Reynolds administration focuses on strengthening the teaching profession for the benefit of students and educators. The proposal will be largely based on recommendations from the Task Force on Teacher Leadership and Compensation. In this video, three task force members talk about how a system of differentiated teacher leadership roles and compensation has the power to position Iowa’s school system to be among the best in the world.
The task force recommendations are the culmination of seven months of consensus-based work by the task force, made up of 25 education stakeholders representing K-12 education, the business community, and higher education.
“Great teachers and leaders are the heart and soul of great schools,” Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass said. “This work is about making a difference for Iowa’s students and educators by transforming the teaching profession. We must develop a structure that keeps teachers connected to their craft, creates pathways so that the most effective educators can work with their fellow teachers, and stems the tide of teachers leaving the profession. Right now, there aren’t a lot of ways to move up, so many talented teachers go into administration or leave education completely.”
Glass said recommendations to raise starting salaries, create a residency year for new teachers and provide opportunities for advancement will make the teaching profession more attractive to the best and brightest young people.
The task force’s recommendations are as follows:
- Create and fund multiple, meaningful and well-designed career pathway opportunities open to all teachers in Iowa.
- Establish a pathway that utilizes the wisdom and expertise of educators who are not currently practicing, including retired teachers.
- Review existing allocations and use these funds strategically to enhance teacher compensation and create leadership opportunities.
- Appropriate new money for the explicit purposes of raising base pay to a competitive level and creating additional leadership opportunities for teachers.
- Establish a Commission on Educator Leadership and Compensation to ensure consistent and successful implementation.
- Collaborate with districts implementing a mechanism for piloting peer assistance and coaching programs.
- Incentivize teachers to teach in locally and state-defined hard-to-staff subjects and high-need schools.
- Build upon existing policy and statute, and provide adequate, sustained funding and implementation support for teacher leadership.
- Set the boundaries of the system, but allow districts to customize.
- Provide time for local planning and implementation inclusive of teachers in the decision-making process.
- Require districts to implement professional development structures aligned with the Iowa Professional Development Model that support each career pathway, and utilize teacher leaders to ensure continuous collaboration on student growth.
- Coordinate the development of teacher leadership pathways with teacher preparation programs.
- Create a residency year for entry into the teaching profession to build a more seamless transition from teacher preparation to practice/employment.
Glass established the Task Force on Teacher Leadership and Compensation in February to help the state move forward strategically in the areas of teacher leadership roles and compensation issues. It is a component of the education reform recommendations introduced by Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds last January, as well as one of six state task forces created as part of Senate File 2284, the education package adopted by the Iowa Legislature this spring.