Friday, December 17, 2010

Big News from WA DC on
Teach for America
Who wants 5-week wonders labeled "Highly Qualified"?

Senate Sought to Call
Novice Teachers"Highly Qualified"
and Allow Concentration in
Poor, Minority Schools.

Seems that the U.S. Senate is a bit slow. The Seattle School Board with approval of their General Counsel and likely a thumbs up from OSPI's Randy Dorn decided to approve that exact plan as submitted by Superintendent and frequent liar Dr. Goodloe-Johnson.

From Transparent Christina comes the following:

Wow, just wow. Four words I didn’t think I would say:

Thank You Harry Reid.

Buried deep in the nearly 2,000 page Senate omnibus appropriations bill that Harry Reid just pulled is an amendment slipped in on Tuesday that seeks to lower the standard of teacher owed every child in the nation under No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

The provision, which has grassroots and community groups across the country up in arms, would have permitted teachers still training in night or weekend alternative preparation programs (known as interns in some states) to be labeled as “highly qualified” teachers.
That designation relieves districts of having to tell parents of the teacher’s sub-par preparation and allows their continued concentration in poor and minority schools.

In Seattle, a group of parents filed an appeal of a Seattle School Board decision that looked as if 25 TfA teachers might be headed to Seattle's low income schools.

The situation gets even more interesting as it is believed that Randy Dorn may have been willing to assert these 5 week wonders are highly qualified.

The School Board was aware that:

1.. The is no teacher shortage in Seattle.

2.. That there is no data showing that TfA is a reasonable choice for a district with an abundance of highly qualified teachers. In Seattle 199 out of 200 classes is taught by a highly qualified teacher. Low-Income and Non Low-Income are both at that 199/200 rate.

3.. The Board and the District were fully aware of the 9th circuit court ruling in regard to TfA not meeting the Highly Qualified Standard in California. Well so much for Washington seeking higher standards than California, right Mr. Dorn.

4.. Director Sherry Carr, with or without help, cherry-picked half a sentence out of Helig's Great Lakes report to show that her vote for TfA was justified. Helig's report specifically states NOT to use TfA in situations where highly qualified teachers are available.

More on Director Carr's use of Helig's study HERE.

5.. The Board voted approval of TfA by a vote of 6-1.
Betty Patu once again was the voice of sanity.

Here is the link to the Huff Post article used by Transparent Christina.

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