St. Paul, Minn. (December 8, 201) – Governor Tim Pawlenty announced Wednesday that 30 more schools and districts are approved to implement the nation-leading Q Comp program. The Governor is also announcing the availability of professional development and classroom resources for teachers on iTunes U, a dedicated area within the iTunes Store (www.itunes.com).
“After parents, teachers are the most important factor in the success of our children at school,” Governor Pawlenty said. “Through Q Comp, and iTunes U, we are giving teachers more tools and incentives to be even better.”
Nearly one-third of Minnesota students are now taught by Q Comp teachers.
With the addition of 30 new schools and districts announced today, 32 percent of Minnesota students are now taught by Q Comp teachers. The additional seven school districts and 23 charter schools approved to implement Q Comp for the 2010-11 school year are the largest group since the first year of the program in 2006-07. It is also the first time the majority of districts were located in Greater Minnesota.
There are now 51 school districts and 54 charter schools participating in the voluntary program. Q Comp provides an additional $260 per student in participating districts.
Governor Pawlenty developed and signed into law Minnesota’s nation-leading Quality Compensation for Teachers program in 2005. Q Comp provides structured professional development and evaluation, as well as an alternative pay schedule that compensates teachers based on performance linked to academic achievement. It includes a locally agreed upon peer evaluation process for every teacher that is based on skills, responsibilities and student academic growth.
An independent analysis released in 2009 by Hezel Associates found there is a significant and positive relationship between the number of years a school has been implementing Q Comp and student achievement. The report also found that participating schools praise Q Comp for providing a unifying focus and framework for collaboration around instruction, planning, and professional development.
The Q Comp program gives participating schools the flexibility to meet local needs within a comprehensive model of improved teaching and learning.
“Q Comp aligns professional development and teacher pay with student performance,” Pawlenty said.
In addition to Q Comp, Governor Pawlenty’s education reform proposals have included alternative pathways for teacher licensure, stronger teacher preparation programs, and retooling tenure to include periodic evaluations.
Professional development and classroom resources now available with launch of Minnesota iTunes U website
Governor Pawlenty also announced today the availability of content and resources on iTunes U including quality professional development and classroom activities for teachers that meet Minnesota academic standards.
Building on Minnesota’s education innovations, the Minnesota on iTunes U website will bring education beyond the classroom and allow students, teachers and other interested users to learn anywhere, anytime. The content on iTunes U includes resources from guest authors, professional development presentations for teachers, nationally recognized speakers and classroom activities.
Minnesota on iTunes U is a collaboration between the Minnesota Department of Education and partners including the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Minnesota Zoo, Walker Arts Center, the University of Minnesota Bookstore, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Public Safety, Minnetonka Public School District and TechdotMN.
“This is a fantastic application of new technology to learning and teacher development that goes well beyond traditional brick and mortar schools in ways that were unimaginable only five years ago,” Governor Pawlenty said.
Minnesota on iTunes U is a dedicated area within Apple’s iTunes Store featuring free access to educational content. Apple calls iTunes U “a powerful distribution system for everything from lectures to language lessons, films to labs, audiobooks to tours.”
Through Minnesota on iTunes U, students, teachers, and other interested users can “learn on the go” with audio and video content that can then be easily downloaded and viewed on an iPod, iPhone, iPad or a Mac or PC.