Thursday, August 16, 2007

Teams of School Leaders Meet for "Teacher Quality Committee Orientation"

For four days this week, school leaders from across the state gathered to participate in training provided jointly by the Iowa Department of Education (DOE), the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA), and the School Administrators of Iowa (SAI) around the newly revised Teacher Quality Law. Teams gathered for training at one of the following locations: Monday, Coralville; Tuesday, Mason City; Wednesday, Council Bluffs; and Friday, West Des Moines. Leadership was provided from the partner organizations as follows, from the DOE: Deb Hansen and Chris Day; from ISEA: Dave Wilkinson, Pat Shipley, and Bob Brown; and from SAI: Dan Smith and Bonnie Boothroy. Pat Shipley of ISEA is pictured at right preparing to lead the teams of educators.

School districts were encouraged to have on their teams an equal number of administrators and teachers. The law states that the local bargaining unit will select their representatives to serve on the Teacher Quality Committee as an equal partner in making decisions regarding the expenditure and implementation of Professional Development funds with the district administration.

I attended the training in Council Bluffs on Wednesday. My "team", Team ISEA included John Phillips (on the left), UniServ Director in the Red Oak office and Kevin McDermott, UniServ Director in the Waterloo Regional office. Other ISEA staff present were Myron Halverson and Bruce Lear, UniServ Directors in our Sioux City Regional office. Also a part of our table was Margaret Buckton (at right) of the Iowa Association of School Boards. As teams from school districts had their table discussion, we too had discussions around the implementation of the revised law.

The day-long agenda included: monitoring professional development plans, determining the use of professional development funds, monitoring implementation of Teacher Quality, monitoring evaluation requirements, market factor recommendations, creating a Teacher Quality Committee, compensation for teachers on the committee, and committee functions and planning. I do believe the teams of school leaders felt their time here was well worth it!

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