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News Brief

03/03/14

39 Iowa School Districts Chosen to Launch Teacher Leadership Systems

Des Moines Register (03/03/14) Petroski, William

Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, and Iowa Department of Education Director Brad Buck announced that 39 school districts were selected to be the first to launch teacher leadership systems under a statewide education reform plan approved by lawmakers in 2013. The programs will begin in the 2014-15 academic year. Buck said the 39 school districts were chosen from 146 applicants statewide, and they represent a mix of urban, suburban, and rural communities and account for about 33 percent of the state's students. Two districts will share teacher leadership systems, in which teachers take on leadership roles to improve instruction and student achievement and work in greater collaboration with colleagues and learn from each other. These systems will be phased-in over three years, with all districts participating by 2016-17. Buck said, "The state's role is to provide leadership and support so they can implement their teacher leadership systems in a way that best meets local needs." He also indicated these systems will help meet more individual student needs and attract and retain more effective teachers through enhanced career opportunities and stipends for taking on extra responsibilities. Buck said teacher and principal leadership teams can support the more complex work required to prepare students for a knowledge-based economy.
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