Photo credit: Mithril Cloud (CC-By-SA 3.0)
Photo credit: Mithril Cloud (CC-By-SA 3.0)

Professional Educators of Iowa recently released the results of their annual statewide survey of independent Iowa educators.  Among the topics were questions concerning the state Teacher Leadership Compensation grant, Common Core, teacher compensation and evaluation, and the school start date.  Nearly 400 teachers chose to answer the survey.  The results reflect the varied membership of PEI, which includes both public and private school teachers, administrators, education agency personnel and even post-secondary level instructors across the state.

The clearest member opinion came on the question of whether the state should reevaluate the Teacher Leadership Compensation (TLC) plan before full implementation.  Nearly 82% of respondents said the plan needs to be subjected to a process of evaluation for financial review and assessment.  Over 56% of the teachers surveyed felt the legislature needs to review the current TLC grant guidelines.

Teachers were almost as unified in their opposition to the use of student outcome measures as a part of individual teacher evaluations.  Fully 77% were against the use of test scores and individual gain scores in their evaluations.  Only 14% were in favor of such measures being included in the teacher evaluation process in Iowa.

When it comes to Common Core, there was significant dissention, but the predominant leaning of the PEI membership was clear.  Less than 36% of respondents support the Core Standards and how they affect the respondent’s particular subject area.  Less than 28% feel the extra time spent for core training and implementation will be reflected in improved student achievement.  Additionally, a full 58% are in favor of at least some local option for implementation of the Core.

There were a variety of other issues with significantly clear opinion among the teachers surveyed.  PEI members were strongly supportive of the current mandatory school attendance age of 16, with more than 62% in favor of keeping the current age requirements.  Almost two-thirds of the surveyed teachers said that the plan to remove some of the best teachers from the classroom in order to make them teacher mentors is not the best initiative to improve student achievement.  A full 63% of the members who responded were opposed to the notion of expanding student teaching to a full year.  Almost 60% of the teachers agreed with the concept of awarding increased compensation for those teaching in areas identified as “high need” fields.

Among those topics with less than a clear mandate, perhaps the question with the most significance in the minds of many Iowans is that of school start dates.  Slightly more than half of respondents said they disagree with the September 1 end of summer date as opposed to 41.2% who said they do agree with it.  This is a question the Iowa legislature is currently debating.

Professional Educators of Iowa is the largest non-union teacher association in the state, representing educators at every level.  Founded in 1981, PEI is headquartered in Windsor Heights and offers their members a wide array of services including professional representation and liability coverage.  PEI’s priorities are putting students first in education and offering Iowa educators a choice in their professional membership.  PEI is devoted to promoting a sense of dedication and purpose to the teaching profession.

For further information concerning Professional Educators of Iowa you can contact the state office at 515-221-2330 or visit their website at www.peiowa.org.

You can see full survey results here.

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