Budget & Finance

Iowa Gov. Unveils Blueprint for Teaching, Online Education

By Sean Cavanagh — October 04, 2011 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is the latest state leader to come forward with his own ambitious plan to change education policy, one that would make dramatic changes to how teachers advance in the field and are compensated for their work.

The Republican governor, who returned to office last year after previously serving in the post from 1983 to 1999, unveiled a detailed proposal for a system to pay teachers on four tiers, and offer a bump in pay for beginning educators.

The model would establish four levels—apprentice, career, mentor, and master—for teachers and give pay raises for those who move up.

Teachers could earn extra money by agreeing to work in programs that have longer school days or longer school years. (A similar type of reward is being offered in a very different educational environment, the Chicago public schools, at the direction of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat.)

The governor traced many of the ideas to an education summit that he and other state officials hosted during the summer, which drew guests such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (Branstad is a fan of Christie’s) and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Most of the proposals would require legislative approval, Tim Albrecht, Branstad’s spokesman, said in an e-mail. He did not have an estimate of the cost of the plan, yet, saying that such estimates would come together after a “consensus on policy” is reached.

Branstad also says he wants to provide value-added measures for “all schools, grades, and educators,” with measures that take into account both students’ backgrounds and gains in achievement.

At a time when states are exploring new online options—and the quality of some online programs is being called into question—the Iowa governor wants to create a state clearinghouse of online courses and make sure there are licensed educators capable of teaching them.

Branstad says he also intends to have Iowa, like many other states, apply for a waiver to the No Child Left Behind Act. He vows to work with “key education groups and leaders” to design a new statewide accountability system.

One key education group, the Iowa State Education Association, offered a muted response to Branstad’s ideas.

The union “strongly believes that any education agenda needs to put students at the center of reform,” the group’s president, Chris Bern, said in a statement. “The details of any ‘blueprint’ are essential. Like all Iowans interested in the future of our great state, we still await a clear vision of how to move these ideas forward, how to fund them, and what the real application of these plans would be.”

The debate over Branstad’s plan now moves to the realm of public opinion, and the legislature.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.

Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Budget & Finance Why Failing to Require Masks Could Cost Districts Millions Later
Some insurance providers are threatening to cancel districts' coverage this school year—particularly if they break statewide mask mandates.
9 min read
Image of a dial that assesses problems, dangers, risks, and liabilities.
Budget & Finance Will Teachers Get Vaccinated for $1,000?
More and more districts are offering cash to employees who get vaccinated, hoping that the money will help tamp down COVID-19 spread.
6 min read
Image of a dollar bill folded into an upward arrow.
Budget & Finance Opinion Three Tips for Spending COVID-19 Funds in Evidence-Based Ways
If COVID-19 funds targeted for evidence-based practices are going to deliver, it's crucial to be clear on what evidence is actually helpful.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Budget & Finance How Kids Benefit When Principals Get a Say in Spending Federal COVID-19 Aid
In some districts, principals play a key role in targeting federal pandemic relief money, but in other places they're left out.
8 min read
Nicole Moore, the principal at Indian Mills School, stands near the summer literacy program held in a small lot at Fawn Lake Village in Shamong, New Jersey on July 6, 2021. Moore worked with teachers to develop a summer literacy program for disadvantaged students who live in the district.
Nicole Moore, principal of Indian Mills School, in Shamong, N.J., worked with a teacher and the district superintendent to start a summer program using federal aid for COVID-19 relief.
Eric Sucar for Education Week