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      Branstad visits heartland to promote education reform

      Iowa Governor Terry Branstad made a stop in Bloomfield to promote his new plan for education reform.

      It was part of a 3 county tour including Washington and Van Buren Counties. The plan includes boosting the minimum GPA to 3.0, mentors for new teachers, as well as a new test for teacher candidates to pass in order to show content knowledge.

      There will also be a new tier system for teachers: Apprentice, Mentor, and Master with pay increases for each level reached. In the past decade, Iowa has fallen from one of the best states for education to 28th in 2009.

      Governor Branstad also encourages innovation.

      "We're doing the assessments to make sure the students are achieving what we expect them to. We want to encourage innovation and use of technology to really motivate kids and recognize how important that's going to be in the jobs of the future."

      The plan is quickly gaining nationwide support.

      "This is a major systemic reform of our education system. I'm delighted with the support we're receiving. Arnie Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education in a democratic administration has been very supportive. Former Governor Jim Hunt, a Democrat from North Carolina has indicated his support."

      If you would like to learn about the entire plan, visit