The Advanced Professional Educator Pay legislation gives districts and educators an opportunity to remedy an oversight in Idaho’s investment in public schools—helping make sure veteran educators have the compensation and respect they deserve. We hear from many of our veteran teachers that they are drawing essentially the same salary as they were 10, 15, even 20 years ago. These are highly trained, experienced educators who are dedicated to their students. The additional allocation to districts contained in HB 523 will be a step toward recognizing the value of these distinguished educators.
This legislation also provides us with a golden opportunity for shared accountability around student growth, professional evolution, and effective evaluations. We commit to working with administrators, school boards, the State Board of Education, the State Department of Education, the legislature, and the governor in addressing not only educator pay but all the components of a shared accountability structure that will benefit Idaho students.
Addressing the myriad of factors involved in student growth. This includes the work of the professional educator but also includes such variables as absenteeism, poverty and hunger, parental involvement, resources and technology, facilities and infrastructure, and more.
Student’s mental and emotional well-being. Students who are dealing with emotional trauma or mental health issues have a much more difficult time finding success in the classroom. The K-12 task force recommendation on mental and emotional health is one piece of the puzzle, but so is decreasing counselor caseloads, along with a shift in thinking and culture around this overlooked aspect of education.
Providing robust and innovative professional development that will enable educators to reach the achievable evaluation thresholds included in the legislation. We are taking the lead in this area with the IEA’s Center for Teaching and Learning, but all parties should commit to helping our educators reach their maximum effectiveness in the classroom and their full earning potential.
Effective evaluations that support educators with feedback and mentoring and are not punitive in nature. The Charlotte Danielson framework is an excellent tool for helping educators learn and grow, but it was never designed as a mechanism for rewarding some teachers and penalizing others.
President, Idaho Education Association