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Educators and students at a Saturday seminar at Drake University all have a passion for providing students the highest quality education they can receive.

“I work at Des Moines North,” said Ben Graeber, an educator who attended the seminar.

“I’m a teacher at Moulton Extended Learning Center with Des Moines Public Schools,” said Amber Baker.

How teachers implement classroom instruction is up for debate.

“We need to have more assistance for first year teachers,” said Baker.

“We’re going to have to have more teachers and the funding to support that,” Graeber told Channel 13 News.

Education director Jason Glass has his own vision for the future of education in our state.

He says it all starts with recruiting better teachers and a task force setup up by lawmakers agree. 

“It really had to do with how we design the teaching profession so we create a system where collaboration occurs, where different professional options are available, and we design our compensation systems so we can raise our base pay,” said Glass.

The task force recommended increasing minimum base pay from $28 to $35 thousand dollars over three years and establishing a statewide average salary of $40-$45 thousand dollars for first year teachers.

Those recommended changes are now in the hands of state legislators and starting in January, they will have to work with teachers to reform education.

“We’re going to work on customizing education to fit every kid,” Glass told Channel 13 News.

Educators at the seminar say they’re looking forward to that opportunity.

“To say what worked in Washington will work in Des Moines is dangerous. It’s not that simple. We need to involve teachers,” said Graeber.

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