Branstad calls for sweeping education change


October 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad is calling for sweeping changes in the way teachers are paid and tougher standards for measuring student performance. At a news conference Monday, Branstad said he would link teacher pay with performance in the classroom. He says he would create a system where instructors would be classified from apprentice teachers to master teachers. Under Branstad’s plan, students would have to pass proficiency tests to advance beyond the third grade, and would have to demonstrate competency before graduating from high school. The governor conceded the plan would cost more than the $3.45 billion the state currently spends on schools, but he says a final price tag hasn’t been set. Branstad says he plans to travel the state to rally support for his proposal.