Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Governor Terry Branstad, Education Director Ryan Wise and  Superintendant Mike Sherwood.

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Governor Terry Branstad, Education Director Ryan Wise and Superintendant Mike Sherwood.

One-quarter of Iowa’s school teachers will be instructional coaches or mentors to other teachers in their district during the next school year.

All 333 Iowa school districts will be splitting $150 million in additional state funding for this teacher leadership initiative. Mike Sherwood, superintendent of the Webster City and Northeast Hamilton School Districts, says putting the focus on instruction is important.

“It is at the classroom level and directly supports the work teachers do at the classroom,” Sherwood says. “It provides another layer of support as teachers move from isolated teaching environments to collaborative environments.”

Governor Branstad invited Sherwood to speak about the program this morning during Branstad’s weekly news conference. Sherwood is using the extra state funding in his district to pay teachers on staff extra to be mentor teachers, plus he’s hiring an expert in the latest digital technology.

Mike Sherwood

Mike Sherwood

“It will be somebody that will work directly with classroom teachers on integrating that directly into their lessons,” Sherwood said.

Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds said Iowa will have “the most extensive teacher leadership system” in the country this fall when all 333 districts are participating in the program.

“With higher expectations for all students today, Iowa is better at supporting the work that teachers must do,” Reynolds said.

Governor Terry Branstad said rewarding teachers who take on more responsibility will hopefully keep some teachers from leaving the profession. And Branstad says measuring student achievement is part of the process.

“We want to make sure that we’re preparing Iowa students and the future Iowa workforce for quality careers and jobs in the future,” Branstad said.

AUDIO of Branstad’s weekly news conference, 28:00

Branstad convened the “Future Ready Summit” this morning in Des Moines. More than 750 teachers and administrators as well as business and labor leaders are attending, to discuss ways to equip students with the right skills.