May 29, 2014
Thank you for your interest in the second Iowa Teacher and Principal Leadership Symposium. We are holding the symposium because great leadership will drive improvements in instruction that will dramatically raise student achievement. We believe so strongly in the power of leadership that elevating teacher leadership and compensation was the centerpiece of our landmark 2013 education reform package. The Legislature agreed, and now Iowa’s new Teacher Leadership and Compensation System is coming to life in Iowa schools across the state. We are in a unique position to learn from those who have started down this path and from national and international experts who are steeped in this work.
At the symposium we’ll hear about lessons learned in the Central Decatur and Saydel school districts, which won a federal grant to adopt teacher leadership systems in 2013-14. We’ll find out how things are going in the first group of school districts getting ready to launch Iowa’s Teacher Leadership and Compensation System in 2014-15. Those 39 school districts will transform the way schools operate.
Many top teachers will take on new leadership roles, such as master and mentor teachers and instructional coaches. They will analyze data, fine tune instructional strategies, and coach and co-teach. This intensive collaboration among colleagues will redefine professional development so that it directly supports teachers in their classrooms, in turn improving the instruction students receive every day.
We’ll also look at what else we might do to better support teacher leadership moving forward. Iowa’s Teacher Leadership and Compensation System will phase in over three years, with all 346 school districts having the option to participate by 2016-17. Another session will offer students’ views on great teaching. And we’ll examine teacher leadership outside Iowa, including in Singapore, an early pioneer.
With higher expectations for students, one principal can no longer provide all the instructional leadership needed in a school. We are confident that teacher and principal leadership will help restore Iowa schools to best in the nation and assure our children are competitive in a global, knowledge-based economy. Please help us continue the conversation about how to meet that goal at the second Iowa Teacher and Principal Leadership Symposium at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny on Monday, Aug. 4.
Gov. Terry E. Branstad
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds