Iowa Education Symposium

About Us

The second Iowa Teacher and Principal Leadership Symposium will continue the conversation about how better utilizing teacher expertise can transform education in Iowa for the 21st century.

Higher expectations for all students today mean higher expectations for educators. Greater collaboration by principals and teachers is essential to help students learn the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a global, knowledge-driven economy. It is no longer realistic to expect one principal to provide all the instructional leadership needed in a school building.

Iowa’s new Teacher Leadership and Compensation System will help educators work together by encouraging many of Iowa’s best teachers to take on new leadership responsibilities. They will serve in roles such as master and mentor teachers and instructional coaches, in exchange for additional pay. This promises to improve instruction to raise student achievement, and do more to professionalize teaching.

The symposium will take place on Monday, Aug. 4, at the FFA Enrichment Center at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny. Speakers include Vivien Stewart, Senior Advisor for Education at Asia Society, Ee-Ling Low, Head of Strategic Planning and Academic Quality at the National Institute of Education in Singapore, and Barnett Berry, Founder and CEO of the Center for Teaching Quality. Ryan Wise, Deputy Director at the Iowa Department of Education, will provide an overview of where Iowa’s first 39 school districts to adopt teacher leadership plans are headed in 2014-15, along with a panel discussion with some of those districts. Another panel includes the two Iowa districts that won a federal grant to adopt teacher leadership systems in 2013-14 – Central Decatur and Saydel. And over the lunch hour, a student panel will discuss the question, “What difference does great teaching make?"

The symposium is open to the public, with registration required. It is being hosted by Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds. It is being paid for by generous support from the private sector, the Iowa Department of Education, and the $30 registration fee.