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Teacher Leaders Strengthen Classroom Instruction

August 15, 2014
Steve Sodders - IA State Senator (Dist. 36) , Traer Star-Clipper

Research shows a correlation between a school's ability to keep good teachers and student achievement. We want the best teachers in Iowa classrooms and are giving them the tools they need to help students succeed.

We're rewarding effective teachers with more responsibility and higher pay, attracting promising new teachers with competitive salaries and opportunities for advancement, and encouraging greater collaboration among all educators. Top teachers taking on leadership roles was central to our 2013 Education Reform initiative.

The goal of a new Teacher Leadership and Compensation System is for 25 percent of teachers to take on new leadership roles, such as instructional coaches and mentors, to improve the classroom experience and raise student achievement. Teacher leadership systems promise to help students learn more by better meeting their individual needs.

East Marshall and Marshalltown will be among the first Iowa school districts to launch the teacher-leader program this fall. A Commission on Educator Leadership and Compensation selected 39 school districts (made up of about one-third of Iowa students in both urban and rural areas) for the first year of funding from a pool of 146 applicants. The Teacher Leadership and Compensation System will be phased in over three years, with the goal of having all Iowa school districts participating on a voluntary basis by 2016-17.

With higher expectations for students, it's no longer realistic for one principal to provide all the instructional leadership in a school. Teacher and principal leadership teams are key to preparing students for the college and career training they'll need down the road.

For more information on Iowa's new teacher-leader effort and how it benefits our students, please visit



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