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Branstad, Reynolds Provide Update on Iowa Teacher and Principal Leadership Symposium

Press Release

Location: Des Moines, IA

Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today provided Iowans with an update on the second Iowa Teacher and Principal Leadership Symposium, scheduled to be held at the Des Moines Area Community College's (DMACC) FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny, Iowa, on August 4, 2014.

"We're holding the symposium because 39 school districts, with a third of Iowa students, are about to launch the first year of Iowa's new statewide Teacher Leadership and Compensation System," said Branstad. "This marks a turning point. Iowans recognize that giving our children a world-class education requires this type of transformational change. Iowa's new Teacher Leadership and Compensation System will revolutionize the teaching profession by better utilizing teacher expertise to improve instruction and raise student achievement."

The Teacher Leadership and Compensation System is the centerpiece of the Branstad-Reynolds landmark transformational education reform package of 2013. In addition to raising student achievement, the reforms aim to make the teaching profession more attractive by increasing career advancement opportunities for Iowa educators.

Branstad and Reynolds highlighted statistics demonstrating the need for Iowa to take action to build on our state's proud education tradition:

Nearly 25 percent of third-graders and about one-third of eighth-graders read below proficiency on state tests.
Iowa used to be a leader on national reading and math tests, but today ranks in the middle of the pack.
Just 32 percent of Iowa's Class of 2013 who took the ACT exam met all four college-ready benchmarks.
"Transforming our schools so we can give Iowa students the world-class education they deserve has begun," said Reynolds. "Sustaining this work will depend on the commitments of Iowans, on continuing broad, bipartisan support in the Legislature, and most of all on Iowa's dedicated teachers and principals. We appreciate the wonderful work of teachers and principals and look forward to continuing our conversation at the symposium."

Featured speakers at the symposium include:

Iowa's 2014 Teacher of the Year Jane Schmidt
Iowa's 2014 Secondary Principal of the Year Aiddy Phomvisay
Vivien Stewart from the Asia Society
Ee-Ling Low from the National Institute of Education in Singapore
Barnett Berry from the Center for Teaching Quality.
Also featured are Iowa's first 39 school districts to launch teacher leadership systems in 2014-15 as part of Iowa's landmark 2013 education reform package, two Iowa school districts -- Central Decatur and Saydel -- that started teacher leadership systems in 2013-14 with the help of a federal grant, and a student panel discussing the difference great teaching makes.

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