Category Archives: HSB4

HF 215 Debate [updated]

Update: HF 215 passed on a vote of 51-44 this morning.

Update: Official vote is now 52-44.

After over five hours of debate, the House deferred on voting on HF215 tonight.  In recess until 8:30am Wednesday.

The debate included discussion of allowable growth, funding, minimum teaching salaries, the nineteen new FTE positions created at the DE at a cost of $1.6 million, private schools and home school instruction, concerns about career pathways pulling best teachers from the classroom, preschool, and whether parents can teach their own children to drive safely in a car without dual controls.

Amendments Adopted

H-1014 [97-0] by Soderberg (R-Plymouth) to set 2% state aid for FY2014 and 2015 and changes allowable growth to supplemental state aid.  Amendments to the amendment H-1048 by Wood (D-Scott) and H-1047 by Steckman (D-Cerro Gordo) lost [45-52].

H-1043 as amended [voice vote] by Jorgensen (R-Woodbury) on differentiating teacher performance into four tiers and to assign letter grades to school performance classification rankings (A+, A, B, C, D, and D-).  Amendments to the amendment H-1051 by Jorgensen (R-Woodbury) on allowing the Iowa Assessments to be replaced by the Smarter Balanced Assessments and H-1052 by Dolecheck (R-Ringgold) on transportation assistance adopted [voice vote].

H-1015 [voice vote] by Jorgensen (R-Woodbury) on technical amendments.

H-1020 [51-46] by Windschitl (R-Harrison) on exempting some home school families from Competent Private Instruction reporting requirements.

H-1016 as amended [voice vote] by Dolecheck (R-Ringgold) on independent accreditation of nonpublic schools.  Amendments to the amendment H-1049 by Dolecheck (R-Ringgold) on withdrawing inadvertently included section on driver education courses.

H-1019 [voice vote] by Byrnes (R-Mitchell) on home rule for local school districts.

H-1021 [voice vote] by Dolecheck (R-Ringgold) on establishing and defining independent private instruction.

H-1022 [voice vote] by Windschitl (R-Harrison) on allowing home school parents to teach driver education course to their own children.

Amendments Lost

H-1023 [withdrawn] by Wood (D-Scott) on setting minimum teaching salary at $45,000.

H-1024 [45-52] by Winckler (D-Scott) on funding minimum teaching salary and setting minimum teaching salary at $35,000.

H-1025 [withdrawn] by Wood (D-Scott) on setting minimum teaching salary at $40,000.

H-1017 [44-52] by Winckler (D-Scott) on School In Need of Assistance grant program to create pilot projects for non-proficient students which may include longer school days, longer school years, summer school, or intensive reading and math programs.

H-1018 [withdrawn] by Forristall (R-Pottawattamie) on establishing an Education Savings Grant program.  Annual grants equal to state foundation aid per pupil for qualified education expenses for K-12 accredited nonpublic school and Competent Private Instruction students.  Unspent funds can be saved and used for higher education expenses until pupil is twenty-five years of age.

H-1039 [not germane] by Steckman (D-Cerro Gordo) and Staed (D-Linn) on expansion of the four-year-old preschool program.

H-1045 [42-52] by Winckler (D-Scott) on performance-based assessment option, removing the requirement that teacher preparation candidates score above the 25th percentile nationally on the Praxis, and establishing a council on pathways to licensure.

H-1033 as amended [44-52] by Mascher (D-Johnson) on establishing the Iowa Learning Online initiative within the area education agencies instead of within the DE.  Amendment to the amendment H-1050 by Mascher (D-Johnson) on eliminating the new evaluation system, on restoring peer review to teacher evaluations, establishes a teacher advisory committee, and striking the attendance center performance ranking system adopted [voice vote].

H-1029 [voice vote] by Winckler (D-Scott) on striking the Teach Iowa Scholar Program and replacing with a loan forgiveness program for Iowa teachers in high-demand areas.

H-1044 [46-51] Kajtazovic (D-Black Hawk) on striking the Teach Iowa marketing and public outreach initiative, Teach Iowa student teaching pilot program, and appropriations for certificate of distinction program and educator development system and redirecting the appropriations to supplemental assistance for high-need schools.  Redirecting money from the administration in Des Moines to the classroom.

H-1030 [voice vote] by Hanson (D-Jefferson) on specifying that the Iowa State Education Association has a seat on several councils established by the bill.

H-1032 [not germane] by Winckler (D-Scott) on establishing an Iowa Common Core Standards implementation plan workgroup.

H-1040 [voice vote] by Wood (D-Scott) on establishing professional development on changes in the evaluation system and requiring a statewide survey on the effectiveness of the DE and the Director of the DE.

H-1035 [withdrawn] by Mascher (D-Johnson) on striking Division iv of the bill (teacher and administrator development system).

H-1027 [out of order] by Steckman (D-Cerro Gordo) and Staed (D-Linn) on setting allowable growth at four percent.

H-1031 [voice vote] by Winckler (D-Scott) on something about probationary periods of mentor teachers.

H-1036 [withdrawn] by Mascher (D-Johnson) on restoring peer review to teacher evaluations.

H-1042 [withdrawn] by Mascher (D-Johnson) on replacing site based review councils for selecting mentor teachers with a teacher advisory committee.

H-1037 [withdrawn] by Mascher (D-Johnson) on striking the attendance center performance rankings and the performance index.

H-1028 [voice vote] by Winckler (D-Scott) on making an appropriation for the Competency-Based Education Task Force.

H-1041 [withdrawn] by Mascher (D-Johnson) on requiring school districts to implement nationally recommended staffing ratios for guidance counselors, librarians, and nurses.

H-1026 [not germane] by Steckman (D-Cerro Gordo) on extending the Iowa Early Intervention Block Grant for five more years.

H-1034 [withdrawn] by Winckler (D-Scott).

H-1038 [withdrawn] by Abdul-Samad (D-Polk) on establishing a foreign language requirement for students in grades one through six.


Legislative Update 2/17

HSB4, now weighing in at 71 pages, has been amended by the House Education Committee and renumbered as HF215.

It is expected to be debated on the floor of the House on Wednesday, February 20th.

Division I: Iowa Learning Online Initiative–Fees and Appropriations.  Grants the DE the power to establish fees to cover the administrative costs of the program (which include professional development costs) and an appropriation to create up to three full time equivalent positions within the DE to administer the program.

Division II: Training and Employment of Teachers.  Teach Iowa marketing and public outreach initiative to motivate students to choose teaching careers in Iowa and “[t]o inform the public of the value of the teaching profession and the importance of Iowa’s education system to the future of Iowa.”  [Don’t Iowans famously value education already?]  An appropriation to create up to three full-time equivalent positions within the DE.

Online state job posting system that shall be used by school districts, charter schools, area education agencies, and the DE and may be used by accredited nonpublic schools.

Teach Iowa student teaching pilot project to pilot a one-year student teaching experience and an appropriation to create up to two full-time equivalent positions within the DE.

Teach Iowa scholar program to provide grants of up to $4,000 per year, not to exceed $20,000 over five years, for qualifying teachers choosing to teach in Iowa.

Division III: Assessments–Iowa Certificate of Distinction Program.  Amends Iowa Code Section 256.7(21)(b), which prevented the state board of education from replacing the Iowa Assessments with the Smarter Balanced Assessments without further legislative action, to permit “a successor assessment administered by the same assessment provider.”  [Does this allow the Smarter Balanced Assessments to be adopted without further legislative action as long as the Iowa Testing Program administers them?  These assessments are untested, and will cost more time and money to administer–there should be a full public debate by legislators about adopting them.]  The Director of the DE is empowered to choose a spring test date for accountability tests [note some districts currently choose to administer the Iowa Assessments during the fall].  The accountability assessments shall be aligned with the Iowa Core [note that the Iowa Assessments are aligned to the Iowa Core], shall accurately describe student achievement and growth, and measure student progress toward college or career readiness [I believe Iowa Assessments can provide this information also, at least for college readiness].

Establishes and Iowa Certificate of Distinction Program and an Iowa Certificate of Distinction Program Council to advise and make recommendations.  [A better name than Promise Seals, in my opinion.]  The program is supposed to be optional but Regents Universities and private colleges will be encouraged to consider the certificate of distinction in admissions decisions, community colleges will be encouraged to exempt certificate of distinction holders from further placement assessments, and employers will be encouraged to establish hiring preferences for certificate of distinction holders.

Division IV: Teacher and Administrator Development System.  The state board is empowered to adopt rules establishing a statewide system of teacher evaluation and performance review requirements and evaluation requirements for administrators.  The Director of the DE is empowered to “develop core knowledge and skill criteria for the evaluation and advancement of teachers, and for teacher career development” and to “develop and implement a coaching and support system for teachers aligned with the Iowa teacher career paths, leadership, and compensation framework.”  A school board shall provide for performance reviews that contain “a balanced use of student outcome measures, comprised of objective, reliable measures of student growth, classroom observation, and student surveys.”  [Does anyone still think we should pursue an NCLB waiver at any cost?  That’s a lot of power vested in the state board and the director.]  Council on Educator Development established.  An appropriation to create up to three full-time equivalent positions within the DE.

Division V: Iowa Teacher Career and Compensation Matters.  Proposed teacher career pathways and compensation changes.  Peer review in years two and three of the teacher evaluation cycle would be replaced with a review focused on the professional development plan.  Establish supplemental assistance for identified high-needs schools for extended learning time programs, hiring additional staff, providing additional professional development, or increasing salaries of teachers.

The DE shall establish a performance index to be used as one measure to rank and classify schools into performance categories [see this post for more–seriously, does anyone still think pursuing an NCLB waiver is worth the cost?]

Pilot program for extended learning opportunities for students in need [more time in school for children not doing well in school].

Division VI: Competency-Based Instruction Task Force.  The Task Force is to develop a plan and a proposed timeline for statewide implementation of CBE.

Division VII: Extended Learning Time Pilot Project Model–Appropriation.

All in all, a breathtaking centralization of power in the State Board of Education and the Director of the DE, driven in part by the desire to win a waiver from NCLB requirements, and not a single provision aimed squarely at improving early reading instruction.


Legislative Update 2/13

The House Education Committee is debating HSB4 tonight.  You can follow the debate on Twitter at #iaedfuture and #ialegis thanks to @isaiahmcgee, @WiserMike, and others.

When the bill as amended by the House Education Committee becomes available online, I’ll put up a post about it.

Legislative Update 2/4 [updated]

The Senate passed SF51 and SF52 last week setting allowable growth at 4% for the 2013-14 school year.  These bills were referred to the House Education Committee today.

The Senate also passed SF53 last week, which would establish a school district property tax replacement fund (which I gather is meant for the state to fund 100% of allowable growth from July 2013 onward rather than cause an increase in property taxes to pay for a portion of it).  This bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee today.

Lobbyists for the Urban Education Network of Iowa, the Iowa Association of School Boards, and the School Administrators of Iowa are registered in favor of all three bills.

The House Education Subcommittee on HSB4 (the Governor’s proposed education bill) is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, February 5th at 5:00 pm to discuss Division 5 of the bill.  This is the final section of the bill dealing with teacher career pathways and compensation.

Update: The Gazette reports plans to move education reform quickly through the House:

Last week, House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer, R-Garner, mapped out a schedule for Branstad’s education reform proposal, saying a House subcommittee would move it forward this week, the House Education would take action on it next week, and the full Iowa House would debate it the week after that.

Building World Class Schools 2

The Governor’s proposed education bill has been numbered Senate Study Bill 1058 or SSB1058.

The members of the subcommittee for this bill are

  • Quirmbach (D-Story)
  • Schoenjahn (D-Fayette )
  • Ernst (R-Montgomery)

Lobbyists for the Governor’s Office, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the Iowa Chamber Alliance, and the Urban Education Network of Iowa have already registered in favor of the bill.

Fast Track? [updated]

Updated: find The Gazette coverage of the subcommittee meeting here.  Mike Wiser described the lawmakers as “kind, if skeptical.”

The Gazette reported yesterday that Governor Branstad expects that an education reform package be finalized by the end of February.

The House Education Committtee’s subcommittee on HSB4 met last night at 5 pm.  From the Twitter feed it appears that, in addition to Director Glass, there were quite a few supporters on hand to speak in favor of the bill.

If you are interested in weighing in, it sounds like the sooner the better.  We may not have as much time as we did last year, when SF2284 wasn’t passed until May.

Building World Class Schools

The Governor’s proposed education bill has been numbered House Study Bill 4 or HSB4.

If you are so inclined, you can follow the legislative process by clicking the link to the Iowa Legislature in the sidebar and using that bill number for now.

The members of the subcommittee for this bill are:

  • Jorgensen, Chair (R-Woodbury)
  • Cohoon (D-Des Moines)
  • Dolecheck (R-Ringgold)
  • Hanusa (R-Pottawattamie)
  • Stanerson (R-Linn)
  • Steckman (D-Cerro Gordo)
  • Winckler (D-Scott)

The House Education Committee is scheduled to meet at 1 pm (agenda includes a presentation on school aid foundation formula) and the HSB4 subcommittee is scheduled to meet at 5 pm today.  @IowaSenate reports that Des Moines Register staff will be tweeting from education committee meetings today using the #ialegis hashtag.