Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass today commended the nation's largest teachers union for pushing a new career path for teachers that includes differentiated compensation and leadership roles, along with peer-based evaluation and support – strategies that align with the education blueprint released by Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds in October.
"While the details need to be worked out, there is clear alignment between the National Education Association's position and the Governor's blueprint," Glass said. "We would welcome a partnership with the NEA and the Iowa State Education Association over the next year to work together on our shared goal to make sure every student has an effective teacher, to elevate the teaching profession, and to help teachers grow and improve throughout their careers. Great teachers and leaders are the key to transforming education in Iowa and nationwide. The convergence of the Governor's blueprint and the NEA plan presents an incredible opportunity to move education forward."
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel last week announced a new action agenda that includes a career path with different compensation and leadership roles for Novice, Professional and Master Teachers.
In Iowa, the Branstad-Reynolds administration released a blueprint for education transformation in October that included a four-tier salary structure and leadership roles for Apprentice, Career, Mentor and Master Teachers.
The commitment to this strategy for attracting and supporting talented educators and creating teacher leadership roles and peer support systems continues, Glass said. However, changes that involve compensation in education have enormous cost implications. Because of this, the four-tier salary structure will become a topic of study rather than part of legislation in 2012.
A statewide task force will convene in January to study teacher leadership and compensation. Work continues on a major education package, which Branstad and Reynolds will present to Iowa legislators in January.