Branstad, Reynolds, Wise announce full participation of Iowa’s 333 school districts in Teacher Leadership and Compensation system
Announcement made prior to kick-off of Governor’s 2016 Future Ready Iowa Summit
Today, at the Administration’s weekly press conference, Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds joined Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise and Superintendent of the Webster City Community School District and Northeast Hamilton Community School District in announcing that all 333 Iowa school districts have joined Iowa’s Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) system. The announcement was made prior to the kick-off of the Governor’s 2016 Future Ready Iowa Summit which began at 9:30 a.m. at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.
“I am pleased to hear that all Iowa school districts will join Iowa’s innovative teacher leadership system,” said Branstad. “This speaks to the commitment of educators from all over the state who have embraced this opportunity for greater collaboration so they can better meet the needs of individual students.”
The TLC effort to better utilize the expertise of top teachers to improve instruction and raise student achievement is the centerpiece of the landmark education reform package adopted by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Branstad in 2013. It is the nation’s most comprehensive teacher leadership system.
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds added, “Twenty five percent of all Iowa teachers statewide will be in leadership roles such as instructional coaches and mentors by the end of the next school year. These teachers will better utilize the expertise of other top teachers to improve instruction and raise achievement while creating new pathways to attract and retain outstanding teachers. This announcement is timely as we also kick off the Future Ready Iowa Summit today focusing on improving educational attainment of our citizens and strengthening Iowa’s talent pipeline for the careers of today and tomorrow.”
“Iowa is leading the way on this effort, which is all about supporting teachers to do their best work so that our students can do their best work,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said. “Students and schools today face higher expectations, and if we are to improve instruction and student achievement we must support the complex role of teaching. I’m proud that so many school districts share this commitment.”
The teacher leadership system paves the way for more support and greater collaboration for all teachers to learn from each other instead of operating largely in isolation within their classrooms. About 25 percent of Iowa teachers will be in leadership roles this fall.
School districts were chosen for the system based on recommendations from the Commission on Educator Leadership and Compensation, which evaluates applications. District plans must include a vision and goals, as well as a rigorous selection process for leadership roles, plans for coaching new teachers, and a minimum teacher salary of $33,500.
All Iowa school districts had applied to join the teacher leadership system as of last fall, and 136 districts have been accepted since then, with the final districts gaining approval in March and April.
School districts are in varying stages of the teacher leadership system. Some are in their second year, while others are gearing up for implementation in the 2016-17 school year.
A recent report on the first year of Iowa’s teacher leadership system found progress has been made toward each of the system’s five goals, including attracting new teachers, retaining effective teachers, promoting collaboration, rewarding professional growth and effective teaching, and improving student achievement. In addition, students in the first 39 participating school districts saw a jump in proficiency rates on state math and reading tests.
The teacher leadership system cost nearly $50 million in fiscal year 2015. That amount is expected to grow to about $150 million annually by fiscal year 2017.