Governor Terry Branstad talked about his goals for improving Iowa’s education system during his opening remarks of his education summit today in Des Moines. One of the key efforts is to improve the quality of teachers.
Branstad says teachers face more challenges today than when he was in school and they must address that.
He says we must create more time for teachers to do their work and more professional development targeted for student improvement to help the students who’re struggling to learn.
He says teachers need more time to collaborate on lessons to determine what works, as he says better working conditions will help improve student achievement.
Branstad says those teachers who don’t perform should be removed. He says teachers who do not raise student achievement over time should receive intensive coaching. Branstad says if they process doesn’t work to improve the teachers, they should be removed over time. At the same time, he says those teachers who are high achievers should be rewarded and should be used as educational leaders. Branstad says the higher expectations for teachers must come with a new way to measure their work.
Branstad says they must have consistently high and clear expectations of what students should know and be able to do. He says the Department of Education — with the help of educators — will fine tune the standards for math and literacy, and will strengthen science and social studies standards.
Branstad says districts will then design the curriculum to meet the standards. Branstad met with polite applause throughout his opening speech. He wrapped up saying it will take everyone in the state to make the changes.
Branstad says some of the improvements won’t require any new money, while some will require “significant new dollars spent in smart strategic ways.” He says all the improvements will require everyone working together. Several hundred educators are attending the two-day summit.
Listen to Branstad’s remarks here: Branstad 20:00