Thursday, March 20, 2008

Teacher Quality Minutes March 20, 2008

Lewis Central
Teacher Quality Committee
ERC--Official Meeting Minutes
March 20, 2008

• The meeting was called to order by Dave Black at 4:50 p.m.

• Present: Kim Muta, Jeanne Bartholow, Linda Hahn, Al Lorenz, Dave Black, Barb Grell, Kent Stopak, and Mark Schweer.

• Absent: Tom McLaughlin, Barb Motes, Marilyn Wandersee, Pat Thomas, Laurie Thies, Chuck Story, Kim Jones, and Sean Dunphy.

• Kim Muta moved that the minutes from the March 12, 2008 meeting be approved. Kent Stopak seconded the motion. A voice vote was taken and the minutes were approved.

• Discussion revolved around the “model evidence” that a teacher might use to demonstrate support of the standards and criteria. The “model evidence” was gleaned from ISEA documents, the evaluation documents from Cedar Rapids, and from what was already being used in buildings throughout the district. A suggestion was made that an accompanying cover sheet would be helpful. This will appear as an agenda item for the April 17 meeting.

• The next meeting is scheduled for April 17 at 4:30 p.m. In addition to the item mentioned previously, the 3rd group (special teachers, i.e., counselors, nurses, etc) will present.

• Meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


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March 19, 2008

In what could be the most historic vote for public employees since the passage of the collective bargaining law in 1974, the Iowa House is considering an amendment which will expand the scope of bargaining and vastly improve the teacher discipline and discharge process. This change will balance the power between management and teachers and give educational professionals a stronger voice in their profession.

Specifically, the amendment to HF 2645 would allow local association bargaining teams to negotiate over such issues as class size, preparation time, in-service, and a whole host of other topics that under the current law (Chapter 20 of the Iowa Code) are deemed "permissive." That means that if one side doesn't agree, those issues can't even be discussed at the table.

The amendment does not, as some Republican legislators claim, pave the way for negotiating "fair share" fees for members of the bargaining unit who do not belong to the union. The section of the law that outlaws fair share fees (section 20.8 of Chapter 20) is not affected by the amendment.

Action could come at any time. ISEA members should contact their Representatives immediately and urge them to support amendment H-8164.

Click here for contact information;

or since time
is of the essence, call the House switchboard at 515-281-3221 and leave a message.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

LCEA Executive Board Agenda March 13, 2008

LCEA Executive Board Meeting
Date: 3/13/2008
Place: Titan Hill
Time: 4:15

Roll Call: Sharon Crawley, Kim Muta, Jennifer Doorlag,
Maggie Bennett, Dave Bergman
HS Reps: Tom McLaughlin, Allison Towne, Brian Johnson, Christina Woodward
MS Reps: Margot Argotsinger, Beth Frank, Al Lorenz, Barb Motes
TH Reps: Susan Drustrup, Maggie Miller, Jennifer Hake
Kreft Reps: Kathy Moe, Melinn Ruzicka, Tara York

Approval of Agenda:

Secretary’s Report/ Approval of Minutes:

Treasurer’s Report:

Negotiations: Beth Frank

TQC: Barb Motes

President’s Report: Sharon Crawley

Committee Reports:
High School:
Middle School:
Titan Hill:

Old Business:
  • Election results
  • Committees for: Retirees, Scholarships, etc.

New Business:
  • Destroying of ballots


LCEA Executive Board Meeting Minutes March 13, 2008

LCEA Meeting Minutes Date: 3/13/2008 Place: Titan Hill Time: 4:15

Roll Call: Sharon Crawley, Kim Muta, Jennifer Doorlag, Maggie Bennett, Dave Bergman (absent)
HS Reps: Tom McLaughlin (absent), Allison Towne, Brian Johnson (absent), Christina Woodward (absent)
MS Reps: Margot Argotsinger, Beth Frank (absent), Al Lorenz, Barb Motes (absent)
TH Reps: Susan Drustrup, Maggie Miller, Jennifer Hake, Joanna Stenlund
Kreft Reps: Kathy Moe, Melinn Ruzicka (absent), Tara York (absent)

Approval of Agenda: Sharon Crawley
• Al Lorenz moved that the agenda be approved, Maggie Miller seconded the motion, and it passed.

Secretary’s Report/ Approval of Minutes: Kim Muta
• Al Lorenz moved that the February minutes be approved, Jennifer Hake seconded it, and the motion passed.

Treasurer’s Report: Jennifer Doorlag
• Jennifer Doorlag would like to see our budget. It is somewhere (voted on last spring). Kim Muta will look for a copy.
• Joanna Stenlund moved that the treasurer’s report be approved, Allison Towne seconded it, and the motion approved.

Negotiations: Beth Frank/Susan Drustrup
• Beth Frank sent out an email summarizing the mediation.
• Susan Drustrup said that the bulk of the conversation was about the distribution of the TQC money. The next meeting is March 27.

TQC: Barb Motes/Kim Muta
• Kim Muta said that the committee is working on the “monitoring evaluation” part of their job.

President’s Report: Sharon Crawley
• Mark Schweer asked Sharon Crawley and Dave Bergman about the attendance at the end-of-the-year banquet. We discussed reasons—like the timing of the year, the place (do it off campus), the length of the event, etc.
• Mark Schweer also discussed the Fireside Chats. He wondered if having a suggestion box for staff to drop questions/concerns into would be a good way to create agendas for future “chats.”
• He also shared that each building principal has been charged to create a promotional video to be posted on the web page.

Committee Reports:
• High School: Just finished ITEDs. NHS is doing a “Pennies for Patients” program. It is specifically for juvenile leukemia.
• Middle School: In the middle of ITBS
• Kreft: Piloting NWEA
• Titan Hill: In the middle of ITBS. Read Across America went very well.

Old Business:
• Election results--Kim Muta shared the results with the Executive Board. (See attached.)
• Committees for: Retirees, Scholarships, etc.
• Retirees—We’ll approach Kari Lewis to do pictures for Phyllis Hamling and Jan Pellant.
• Scholarships—Roxanne Wiles, Allison Towne, Susan Drustrup, Maggie Bennett, and Jennifer Hake will be on the committee.

New Business:
•Destruction of ballots: Allison Towne moved that the ballots be destroyed, Margie Argotsinger seconded the motion, and it passed.

• Allison Towne moved that the meeting be adjourned, Susan Drustrup seconded it, and the motion passed.

CLICK HERE for a WORD version of LCEA Meeting Minutes 03.13.08

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Teacher Quality Committee Minutes March 12, 2008

Teacher Quality Committee
Education Resource Center
Official Meeting Minutes
March 12, 2008

The meeting was called to order at 4:30 by Barb Motes.

Present: Barb Motes, Mark Schweer, Chuck Story, Kim Jones, Barb Grell, Laurie Thies, Kim Muta, Marilyn Wandersee, Pat Thomas, Jeanne Bartholow, Linda Hahn

Absent: Dave Black, Sean Dunphy, Kent Stopak, Tom McLaughlin, Al Lorenz

Chuck Story moved that the minutes from the March 4, 2008, meeting be approved. It was seconded by Barb Grell. A voice vote was taken and the minutes were approved.

It was suggested by Barb Motes to amend the agenda to move item #4 Future Meeting Dates ahead of item #3 Sub-Committee Report – Evaluation Procedures.

Since the ad hoc committees are at various stages in their work, and the time it is taking to complete this work is difficult for some members, it was suggested that we limit our meetings to one hour instead of two hours each. This recommendation was favored by the committee.

Barb Grell continued her Process Committee report with a review of some changes made per the last TQC meeting:

Page 7 – Language was added to indicate that coach could be a teacher/peer or an administrator. The reflective conference in May was clarified to mean that it could be a conversation with an administrator or a conversation with a group of peers.

Pages 13 and 25 – These changes deal with the Pre-Observation Form. Numbers 1 and 2 were switched around. The language in number 5 was changed. It now reads “What difficulties/misconceptions do students typically experience with this concept? How will you address this?”

Also, number 8 now reads “Is there anything you want the administrator to look for? How can the administrator be of help to you?”

Page 35 – The first sentence was changed and now reads “Intensive assistance means the provision of organizational support and technical assistance to career teachers who have successfully completed on year in the Lewis Central district, . . .” Some concern was expressed that the entire sentence may be too wordy, but it was decided to leave it as it is.

Additional discussion centered on the bulleted points on page 35. A question was raised as to whether or not a teacher’s performance must cause concern in all three of the bulleted criteria because of the word and which follows the second bulleted area. Since no one on the committee had a clear understanding of this issue, Dr. Schweer will look up Chapter 284 to see if this language appears there.

Page 37 – Dr. Schweer indicated that “awareness phase” is not a requisite part of Intensive Assistance. It was agreed to change “awareness phase” to “the evidence.”

Page 38 – It was agreed to add “Plan of Assistance and final summary forms should be sent to the district office.”

Page 41 – It was agreed to include a section entitled “Beginning Teachers Completing the First Two Years of Teaching” to this page. Also, portfolio has been defined as “. . . an adequate collection of evidence for each teaching standard that reflects a teacher’s practice over time.” This definition will be added to Page 41.

It was discussed at the previous TQC meeting that there needed to be a stated purpose for the Pre-Observation Form. However, committee members agreed that no such explanation is necessary now due to the revisions in the form.

Barb Motes thanked the Process Committee for their work.

Dr. Schweer passed out material from the Model Evidence committee to be reviewed before our next meeting.

The next meeting of the Teacher Quality Committee will be on March 20, 2008, at 4:30 with a target length of one hour.

Kim Muta made a motion to adjourn, and it was seconded by Laurie Thies. The meeting was adjourned at 5:12.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Here's where other education-related bills stand

• Compulsory attendance. SF 2144, a bill to increase the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 17 by Sept. 15 of the school year, has been passed out of committee and is awaiting action by the full House.

• IPERS. A bill passed out of the Senate State Government Committee includes language allowing the actuary to set the IPERS contribution rate beginning in July of 2011 after the current statutory increase of 2 percent is fully implemented. In addition, the bill would limit the number of 403b vendors that a school district can use to eight. Of that total, local bargaining units would be able to choose up to three vendors and the employer could choose up to five. Under this plan, a school district would not be required to offer eight options, but the local employee group can decide whether it offers three or fewer.

• ESP salaries. ISEA lobbyists are working to address the Education Support Professional salary issue by including language in the education appropriations bill stating that the goal of the state is to provide a competitive living wage to all public employees. To learn more about living wage campaigns, listen to episode 21 of the ISEA In Focus podcast series.

• Core curriculum. A bill to require school districts to adopt the now-voluntary core curriculum has moved out of the Senate and is on its way to the House. Under this plan, the mandate would be fully implemented by the 2012-13 school year for grades 9 - 12 and during the 2014-15 school year for grades K - 8. The ISEA supports this bill because it focuses on classroom instruction rather than requiring additional tests and accountability measures. For more details, see the Feb. 29 issue of the ISEA Hotline.


Although the ISEA maintains a strong presence at the Capitol, lawmakers need to hear from their constituents back home. ISEA members should attend legislative forums this weekend and stay in regular contact with their Senators and Representatives. Thank them for their past support and urge them to:
  • Provide a stable source of funding for teacher compensation, class size reduction, and professional development by rolling these annual appropriations into the K-12 school aid formula.
  • Expand the use of the penny sales tax beyond property tax relief to include much-needed school programs and services.
  • Go beyond the Governor’s budget recommendations for community colleges and faculty and support the ISEA’s recommendation of $12.9 million in general aid and $8 million over the next two years to bring faculty salaries up to 25th in the nation. Lawmakers particularly need to hear first-hand stories about how inadequate funding and below-average salaries in impacting the quality of post-secondary education that Iowans receive.

    Visit our Legislative Action Center for contact information and e-mail links.

State penny tax still in committee

The House Ways and Means Committee is considering a number of amendments to HF 2066, a controversial bill that would eliminate the local option sales tax and replace it with a statewide penny tax earmarked for school infrastructure or property tax relief. Since it involves tax policy, the measure is exempt from funnel deadlines and could remain alive for the remainder of the session.

While the ISEA supports the concept of a penny tax, we strongly oppose HF 2066 as it is currently written because it doesn't give local school districts the spending flexibility they need to meet student needs. The ISEA believes that in addition to providing property tax relief and repairing school buildings, districts should also be able to use the tax revenue to pay for program offerings like preschool, foreign language, advanced math and science, and career preparation courses to name a few. Under the current bill, however, providing local property tax relief is clearly the focus. Click here to read a statement by ISEA President Linda Nelson.

Funding 'roll-in' bill survives funnel week

A bill to roll funding for teacher compensation, class size reduction, Phase II, and professional development into the school aid formula has survived the first funnel date -- the Legislature’s self-imposed deadline for bills to remain alive for the session. SSB 3187 was passed out of the Senate Education Committee earlier this week and is now awaiting action by the full Senate. The ISEA-initiated bill is necessary in order to protect these programs from budget cuts and to provide future growth to keep pace with inflation.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Faculty converge upon Capitol Hill

A group of nearly 50 ISEA faculty members took part in a special Lobby Day this week devoted to community college issues. Following briefings by ISEA lobbyists and advocacy training led by member Bradley Dyke of the Des Moines Area Community College, the faculty converged on the statehouse for talks with legislators.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are only in the beginning stages of developing the massive education appropriations bill which includes general aid for community colleges as well as what ISEA hopes will be a significant commitment to raising faculty salaries to 25th in the nation. Movement of the bill, which is typically one of the last to be considered in the session, has stalled while legislative leaders spar over budget requests that exceed state revenue.

Gov. Chet Culver has proposed an increase of only $5.5 million for the colleges. But since the $2 million appropriated last year to begin raising faculty salaries to 25th in the nation must be rolled into general aid, the actual budget increase is only $3.5 million. That’s far below what the ISEA is fighting for: A $12.9 million increase in general aid and an additional $8 million over the next two years to bring faculty salaries up to 25th in the nation. Click here to read all the ISEA community college legislative initiatives for 2008.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Teacher Quality Committee Agenda 3/4/2008

Teacher Quality
Committee Meeting

Educational Resource Center
March 4, 2008

4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Tentative Agenda

4:30 1. Call To Order – Roll Call

4:31 2. Review and Approve Minutes

3. Sub Committee Report – Evaluation Procedures

4. Future Meeting Dates

6:30 5. Adjournment

Teacher Quality Committee Minutes March 4, 2008

Teacher Quality Committee
Official Meeting Minutes
Educational Resource Center
Tuesday March 4, 2008

• Meeting was called to order at 4:32 PM by Barb Motes.

• Present: Barb Motes, Mark Schweer, Chuck Story, Kim Jones, Pat Thomas, Al Lorenz, Linda Hahn, Marilyn Wandersee, Kent Stopak, Barb Grell, Sean Dunphy, Jeanne Bartholow

• Absent: Dave Black, Tom McLaughlin, Kim Muta, Laurie Thies

• Sean Dunphy moved that the minutes from the March 7, 2008 meeting be approved, second by Chuck Story. Voice vote was taken and minutes were approved.

• General Education report to be made at our next meeting March 12, 2008.

• Process Committee report by Barb Grell. Handout was given at the meeting highlighting the recommendation for changes in the Professional Assessment document. The committee made observations within the document that is now in place and have suggested changes, some of which are in red in the handout. The following notes summarize the discussion and changes recommended:

 Page 5: The document discusses a committee consisting of teachers and administrators in place to annually review the document. The recommendation was that the TQC be that committee, since this is one of the charges of the committee already.

 Page 6: The recommendation was made under the Career Teacher cycle – Year three to add language to the last bullet to indicate that a copy of the summative evaluation, once signed, should be forwarded to ERC and placed in the teacher’s personnel file. This process is to already happen, but it is not stated anywhere in the document. More discussion followed around the requirement of the district to have a copy in the personnel file and also where the accountability for this would happen. Dr. Schweer responded that the superintendent should have a list of those teachers who are on cycle for a summative evaluation to compare with the evaluations that are submitted for a checks and balances system. It was also discussed and concluded to keep the May 15 deadline as a target goal for having all summative evaluations to ERC.

 Page 8: In the diagram of the Career Development Plan Process a recommendation was suggested to clarify the definition of “coach” within the process. During the discussion it was noted that the original Assessment document was created during the time, in the district, that Cognitive Coaching was an active and integral part of new teachers’ training in the district. Since then the emphasis of Cognitive Coaching has diminished and most likely half of our teachers are not trained in Cognitive Coaching and the implied meaning of some terms are lost. In the end the recommendation was to clarify in the following way. On page 7, first paragraph begin the sentence “Teachers select a coach (teacher peer or administrator)….” Also on page 8, discussion was had concerning the intent of an ‘informal conference’ with an administrator between October and March. In the end the recommendation was to leave the language the same. Finally, on page 8, it was noted that the May ‘reflective conference’ component does look different at different buildings. Some celebrate the progress, others conference one on one, etc. Discussion revolved around whether it should have a standard look or not and the conclusion was to clarify on page 7 with a sentence or two about how this could look different per building, but that there would be a May piece to fulfill, whether it is a celebration in small groups, conference, etc. The Process Committee will develop this language for the next meeting of TQC.

  • Page 13 and 25: Much discussion was had over the Pre-Observation Form currently used and the functionality of it. During the discussion the following changes were recommended.
  • Switch question 1 and 2 around. Target the goals first, and then talk about the students in relation to the goals.
  • In either question 2 or 3 include benchmark language to identify which one(s) the lesson is targeting.
  • There needs some wording in the assessment document to clarify the purpose of the pre-observation form, which is to be an informative document and also a base to have a pre-observation conference that can be reflective for the teacher and clarifying for the administrator. The committee will look into developing that wording.
  • Rephrase question 5 “What difficulties and/or misconceptions do students typically experience with this concept, and how will you address this?” or some similar phrasing.
  • Omit question 8.
  • There are a few other revisions that Barb G. will work on at the end of the document to reflect what the teacher might want the administrator to target during the observation, etc.
  • Page 23: Delete the page since the same information is on the summative evaluation document already.
  • Page before page 35: Take off the bulleted pieces.

• On all the intensive assistance pages take off the ISEA icon.

• Page 35: Change the first sentence to read: “Intensive assistance means the provision of organizational support and technical assistance to career teachers who have successfully completed one year in the Lewis Central district.”

• At this point in the meeting it was suggested by Barb G. that we stop and continue where we left off on the handout at the beginning of the next TQC meeting. There was additional discussion about the Awareness Phase, but it was put on hold until the next meeting.

• Jeanie Bartholow moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Sean Dunphy.

• Meeting adjourned at 6:14 PM.