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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Talking TFA with the Directors

I'll have to do this on the fly because I managed to not have a pen with me to take notes at one meeting.

I went first to see Harium. There were several other parents as well but I went first as I was trying to make Kay's meeting as well.

Harium said that the mystery donor will be paying for all three years of the TFA contract (no it's not in writing). Keep in mind there is still the overhead to be paid to have this program as well as extra costs for any special ed teacher mentor required should any of these TFA teachers be teaching special ed students (pretty likely). TFA is not cost-free.

I asked if the district would be making sure that all parents with TFA teachers will understand about their FERPA rights. Yes but no explanation. I sincerely doubt the district will do anything differently than they do now (that doesn't mean, though, that those parents can't be reached through other means).

The motion has some new info in it and at least one thing I think we can count as a win. That is that two of the more onerous FERPA issues are gone. TFA can still use student identifiable data but cannot disclose it to any third parties. And, they have to return or destroy any student educational records obtained through the District, in its possession, upon request from the District. I think we better make sure that every year the District makes that request.

The motion also tries to explain why they can do a sole source contract with TFA and apparently it's because it's a service contract and the RCW doesn't apply there. Again, I think that issue could be explored more and the district is trying to head off any lawsuit.

They also state that the TFA contract would bring more "diversity" to the teaching pool. I'll lay odds that the majority of the TFA teachers will be white.

They also try to explain why the recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision out of California wouldn't apply here. Again, I wouldn't put all my eggs in the district's legal basket. They aren't known for winning the big cases.

What is fascinating is the memo from Dr. Enfield to Dr. Goodloe-Johnson that is now attached to the motion. It asks that Dr. G-J "utilize your authority to grant an exception to Superintendent Procedure No. 4 "Contracting for Services Procedure". She notes this agreement doesn't need the Board's authority for contracts less than $250k but recommends that the Board grant the Superintendent authority to sign for it.

Interesting that the Superintendent doesn't think she needs the Board's authority but wants their stamp of approval. However, while the policy, G 45.00 does state that the contract has to be over $250k, it also says this (italics mine);

" This policy shall apply to all contracts, agreements, and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) where the District receives money, pays money, or commits time and resources, whether these are paid from operating funds, capital funds, grants, ASB funds or other sources. "

It would seem that the Board DOES have to approve this contract under its own policy as they are receiving money that applies from a contract. I think the Board should make it clear, if they vote for TFA, that it is THEIR approval, not the Superintendent's, that counts.

Then the kicker is a list of reasons why the exception from current contracting procedures is "appropriate" (and I'm not listing them all ):

"There is significant interest within the local funding community to specifically fund bringing TFA corps members to the Puget Sound region, and specifically to Seattle Public Schools."

OH, I get it. If you have money in this town and interest in funding something specific, well, by all means come on down. Harium said he could see how I might feel this way but that it is not a bad thing that community groups want to help. Point taken but in the context of this issue, it points to power and money trumping real discussion and governance.

(A woman at Kay's meeting who said she worked for a non-profit said this is always the dilemma - do you take money with strings attached for a project you probably wouldn't have otherwise done if the money wasn't there? Is it worth your time and effort?)

Kay allowed several people including myself to speak on this issue. Only one man said he was for it but added that the public discussion probably wasn't "all it should have been". I was surprised at how many people said it was wrong to do this without discussion. Kay ironically ended that part of the meeting by saying she and her colleagues had a lot to discuss on Wednesday.

It's nice they get to since no one else does.

My prediction is that the TFA contract will pass unanimously with some "tsk, tsk, do better next time on public engagement".

So maybe we waste our time with the Board. Maybe it's time to go up the food chain to our legislators, City Council and yes, the Mayor.

42 comments:

ParentofThree said...

"... it is not a bad thing that community groups want to help"

Wonder how Harium would feel if a "group" wanted to fund a school for only high-achieving students or basically the exact opposite of what the private donor is funding with TfA?

Chris S. said...

Haha, I was asking Peter about community-stop bus service for options schools (shown by TOPS last year to be budget-neutral) and he started talking about budget constraints and I couldn't help, I blurted out "Maybe we can find private funding!!"

Guess we could furthermore hire any damn busdriver we wanted...

Maureen said...

"Maybe we can find private funding!!"

Hmmm, you know, this may be a good idea. There is recent new research that reinforces the fact that poor kids do better in school if they attend schools with a lower concentration of poverty. At the last Board meeting, Brad Bernatec presented evidence that at risk SPS kids performed significantly worse when their programs schools/programs were closed. Cutting off transport is the equivalent of closing these kids' school.

If TOPS could get (I don't really know) maybe $200,000 we could keep running street to street buses for our 30% FRL kids (in addition to the WMS area street to street buses SPS insists we use) and prevent an increase in the achievement gap for those kids. At least there would be research to support that. Can anyone out there hook me up with someone from Gates to ask? Actually, the Gates foundation is only about a mile from our school, maybe they could run a shuttle from the south end and let our kids piggyback?

(Or SPS could let us use our transport budget to run community stop busing for all of our kids and get the same effect.)

dan dempsey said...

If you have trouble finding these on the SPS website, use these links:

TfA revised Action Report of 11-12-2010 HERE.

TfA waiver memo HERE.

seattle citizen said...

For transportation, they could put that fleet of Microsoft vans to work. Then students could ride to school alongside Microsofties, get some mentoring.

This would work especially well with TOPS, which is right at the junction of I-5 and 520, so the vans could drop the students off and then continue over to the Eastside.

WV says omega....yikes?

Meg said...

I know this is a little frivolous, but I love that there's a tag for "bullshit" now.

You'd think that PTAs that are fundraising powerhouses would get more consideration from the district, given willing to alter course for cash SPS seems to be.

Huh. Typing that makes it sound like a cheap visual gag for a political cartoon: school district, styled as beggar, with sign "Willing to teach creationism for $$$."

dan dempsey said...

MW said:
"So maybe we waste our time with the Board. Maybe it's time to go up the food chain to our legislators, City Council and yes, the Mayor."

In April and May of 2009, Marty McLaren and I concluded it is waste of time to write to the Board with the expectation that an evidence-based decision would be forthcoming from the Board.

One writes to the Board and sends data and references to research, especially peer-reviewed research, with the plan that should an appeal be filed the evidence provided by the public will be used to show the Board acted in an "arbitrary and capricious" way and/or contrary to law.


What we saw in the HS Math Adoption was an exclusion of all evidence submitted by the public in the Board’s making of the decision to buy Discovering Math from Key Press. Then the Superintendent appealed the judge’s ruling that the Board needed to remake the decision using all the evidence. Clearly the Superintendent does not see the need to use all the evidence in decision-making.

The Board, in any appeal in which I have been involved, has NEVER certified the evidence submitted by them to be correct. I repeat the law states the evidence must be “certified to be correct” and the Board NEVER does that.

Things have now gotten even worse than not caring about using all the evidence and not caring to certify evidence provided to the court is correct.

The Superintendent and the CAO are now apparently involved in tampering with evidence. This tampering apparently was to make the public believe that things proposed by the Superintendent were better than they really were or will be. As usual I am trying to do something about this apparent fraudulent activity.

As suggested by MW, I am moving up the ladder.

Perhaps the reason the Superintendent and Chief Academic Office are so interested in trying to do the TfA Board approval in a legally correct manner is because of the absolute mess they produced in the New Tech Network contract approval process.

(cont...)

dan dempsey said...

( .... cont)
On Wednesday 10/10/2010 I received a copy of a Public Records request.

It is highly likely that either one or both of those two administrators violated several state laws in the NTN contract approval process.

On Friday 10-12-2010 I reported the following information to the Seattle Office of the State Auditor and emailed documentation to them. I am hoping for an SAO audit finding and then an SAO referral to the Attorney General to conduct an investigation perhaps leading to prosecution.

I also visited the office of the Governor and provided hard copies and outlined exactly why I believe “Forgery” may have occurred and feel an immediate referral to the AG’s office is in order.

It is highly likely that a gross misdemeanor of: "Making a false or misleading statement to a public servant” RCW 9A.76.175 and a class C felony “Forgery” were committed in the production of the School Board Action Report of 3/12/2010.

Background:
The School Board Action Report of 3-12-2010 recommended approval of the $800,000 NTN contract on April 7, 2010. Dr. Goodloe-Johnson with Susan Enfield as the lead person produced this SBAR.

On page 2 of the SBAR:

The District examined the standards-based achievement results of STEM-focused New Technology Network (NTN) schools around the country, and provided the following feedback in a memo sent to the board on January 29, 2010:”

The memo used by Dr. Goodloe-Johnson was included in the evidence submitted to the court to satisfy RCW 28A 645.020 related to the May 7, 2010 Joy Anderson et. al. appeal of the April 7, 2010 NTN contract approval.

I requested the memo referred to on 3-16-2010 and I received the original memo sent to Dr. Goodloe-Johnson by Eric M. Anderson on 1-29-2010 that memo was sent to the Board on February 2, 2010. There was no other memo on this topic produced by Eric M. Anderson on 1-29-2010 that was ever sent to the School Board.

The “Forgery” occurred in that the memo version used to write the Action Report and submitted as evidence to the court was NOT the memo sent to the Board. The memo MGJ used appears to be an earlier draft version. The memo used by MGJ was a less complete version that omitted several important components of the Original Memo sent to the School Board on 2-2-10.

Among these significant differences was the omission of the entire last paragraph from the original Eric Anderson memo:

Since the data is mixed, the primary question is whether Seattle Public Schools believes strongly in the Research based NTN learning model. Success will more than likely depend on the quality of program implementation. Knowing ahead of time that the NTN model does not guarantee strong results only enhances the degree to which the burden falls on the district and the schools to achieve success.


How could a board member defend a vote for a non-competitive bid contract of $800,000 with that piece of evidence in the Action Report?

More importantly “how could the District successfully defend an appeal in Superior Court if the appellants used that piece of evidence?” Solution: do not use that memo, but claim it was used, and then exclude it from the evidence provided to the court.

Contrast the original Anderson memo that was sent to the Board with the “draft” memo used by MGJ to write the SBAR. Note the memo submitted to the court was not the memo sent to the Board and yet the District claimed it was as they submitted the draft memo (as the original) to the court and excluded submission of the original memo.

dan dempsey said...

Addition:

I meant to say:

The memo submitted to the court was not the memo sent to the Board. Yet the District allegedly seemed to claim that by submitting only the draft memo to the court that it was the only memo and that it was sent to the School Board.

These actions apparently meet the RCW definition of "Forgery".

I wrote to Director DeBell and asked him to put this apparent "Fraud" topic on the agenda for discussion on 11/17/2010.

Maybe it will come up for discussion?

What cha thinkin'?

mirmac1 said...

The "funding community" has a say, not us.

dan dempsey said...

Mirmac1,

Here we shall see how the battle between a Republic and the Oligarchy is going.

This will be an opportunity for a status report on whether laws are enforced to bestow full citizenship on the citizens or whether the rich and powerful can routinely ignore the laws.

-- Dan

mirmac1 said...

LOL, she asks for a waiver to a procedure they don't follow anyway!

What a poor excuse of a "sole source" justification memo. What is the significance of a "nationwide" teacher recruitment organization (probably because there a lot of others with similar missions but smaller in scale)? Did MGJ look at the composition by race or socio-economic status of the other organizations? No of course not! That would actually be due diligence.

Now we get to the soft creamy center of the request... because the "funding community" really wants it. So what if it alienates the remaining 2% of your teaching staff that isn't already alienated.

dan dempsey said...

Recall Update:

I believe that the “Recall Sufficiency Hearing” for Directors Carr, Martin-Morris, Maier, and Sundquist is going to be on November 18th.

Lawrence Ransom an expert hired by SPS to intervene sought a postponement, as 2 directors are not available on the 18th. First postponement sought was going to be to the 23rd or 24th but Judge Inveen proposed Dec 7th,as she is not available on Nov. 23 or 24. There is no requirement that either the person under recall or the person recalling be present at the hearing but there is a 15-day requirement that would require the hearing to be held on or before Nov. 20th unless both parties agree otherwise. As the signature gathering will need to end by April 30th, 2011, any delay works against those gathering signatures. The Nov 1. 2011 general election means April 30th is the end of signature gathering.

The Law:
RCW 29A.56.140
Within fifteen days after receiving the petition, the superior court shall have conducted a hearing on and shall have determined, without cost to any party, (1) whether or not the acts stated in the charge satisfy the criteria for which a recall petition may be filed, and (2) the adequacy of the ballot synopsis. The clerk of the superior court shall notify the person subject to recall and the person demanding recall of the hearing date. Both persons may appear with counsel. The court may hear arguments as to the sufficiency of the charges and the adequacy of the ballot synopsis. The court shall not consider the truth of the charges, but only their sufficiency. An appeal of a sufficiency decision shall be filed in the supreme court as specified by RCW 29A.56.270. The superior court shall correct any ballot synopsis it deems inadequate. Any decision regarding the ballot synopsis by the superior court is final. The court shall certify and transmit the ballot synopsis to the officer subject to recall, the person demanding the recall, and either the secretary of state or the county auditor, as appropriate.

Ballot Synopsis for Director Sundquist.

fruitbat said...

I don't see the point of TfA in Seattle--it's still gong to cost money, we get some teachers for two whole years, and it pisses off the career teachers. Oh, wait... maybe that's the point.

Anonymous said...

Re Blum-Smith meeting today, I thought her priorities were very bogus:

1. After a lengthy session on TFA she said "I'm on the fence".

2. A couple of parents of kids with disabilities tried to engage her on the negligence of the staffing ratios for integrated comprehensive services (ICS) model. After them about 10 people raised hands to comment but they were cut off. Only three comments were allowed on this important topic. Why?

3. Blum-Smith wanted to spend the bulk of her meeting on the Garfield athletics situation.

It's easy to draw from this that Blum-Smith really doesn't know what she is doing or where she should be putting her priorities. A SpEd parent said it's not about the budget, it's about what you value. But Blum-Smith said really it's about the budget. I guess she thinks it is the way of the world that in a large urban school district only 9% of kids with disabilities are passing state tests when over 70% are qualified to do so. How far out of the norm we are in this District is not evidently something that Blum-Smith is tracking.

Fed up sped parent

Mr. Edelman said...

I do not understand how the language they've added to the Board report addresses the underlying issue in Renee v. Duncan:

"At the 11/3/10 Board meeting questions were also raised about the implications, if any, of a recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision (Renee v. Duncan) related to the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA). That case addressed whether intern teachers in California should be considered ―highly qualified‖ under NCLBA when the state did not consider them to be certificated. The court ruled that a teacher had to be considered certificated by the state in question in order to be highly qualified for purposes of the NCLBA. Unlike the issue in that case, TFA candidates who may be hired by SPS will have conditional certificates. Washington state considers teachers with conditional certificates to be fully certificated teachers. Because of this, the 9th Circuit decision is inapplicable to the TFA proposal."

As I understand it, a conditional certificate does not make a teacher "highly qualified" under the NCLBA. Generally speaking, a teacher must have an endorsement to be considered highly qualified according to the NCLBA. It is possible to become "highly qualified" in a subject with sufficient training and experience. TFA candidates will, generally speaking, not be "highly qualified" in their subject areas because they'll lack an endorsement and/or training and experience. The district's statement conflates "conditional certificate" with "highly qualified."

In any case, I seriously doubt the Board can be stopped on this one. The real question is how to use this against them in the upcoming elections.

Mr. Edelman said...

fruitbat,

I hope it does piss off the career teachers. Then we can mobilize them in the next Board elections.

mirmac1 said...

This letter will go to Board members next week with some edits:

Dear Directors,

I write today to alert you to the flawed legal analysis presented by your General Counsel at the November 3, 2010 Board meeting with regard to the Teach for America proposal before you. Mr. Treat asserted that, based on his careful review of Renee vs. Duncan, the Ninth Circuit Court ruling was limited in scope and narrowly applicable to California but not Washington. In his words, the issue hinged on U.S. DOE and California state regulations that provided that "uncertified intern teachers" qualified as highly qualified teachers under No Child Left Behind. That was a misrepresentation of the breadth and scope of the ruling. I remind the Superintendent and her staff (including her legal experts) that making a false or misleading statement to public servant such as the Board or the State Auditor is prohibited under RCW 9A.76.175.

I'm concerned that the Counsel's simplistic analysis may give you a false sense of security that placing inexperienced "teachers" in struggling schools truly is an okay thing to do. I will do my best to fill in the blanks in his analysis.

The meaning of "highly qualified" that Congress intended in NCLB is patently clear to the majority of the Ninth Circuit Court: in their words "Congress decided that teachers with "full State certification" are, in the aggregate, better teachers than those without such certification." The majority readily concedes that "full State certification" is not defined in NCLB and can vary from state to state. Whatever it is, Congress required it. The meaning is immaterial for:

The "precise question at issue," Chevron, 467 U.S. at 842, is not the meaning of "full State certification" as used in NCLB. Rather, the "precise question at issue" is the difference between the meaning of "has obtained" full State certification in the statute, 20 U.S.C. § 7801(23), and the meaning of "demonstrates satisfactory progress toward" full State certification in the regulation, 34 C.F.R. § 200.56(a)(2)(ii). The difference between having obtained something and merely making satisfactory progress toward that thing is patent.

The majority concluded that the Secretary's regulation (and California's regulators, by extension) "impermissibly expands the definition of "highly qualified teacher" contained in 20 U.S.C. § 7801(23) by including in that definition an alternative-route teacher who merely "demonstrates satisfactory progress toward" the requisite "full State certification."

With respect to California's law and regulations, the majority opinion reads "the California regulations do not change the definition of fully credentialed under California law. Thus, unless intern teachers have "full State certification" under some other California law, such teachers are not "highly qualified" for purposes of NCLB..."

cont.

mirmac1 said...

cont.

So, what does this have to do with Washington you and Mr. Treat may ask? The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Professional Educators Standards Board (PESB) have done much the same in our state. Despite OSPI promulgating rules that recognize teachers with "conditional certificates", along with other prerequisites, as highly qualified teachers (HQT), the law in Washington distinguishes between conditional certificates and "full State certification." This is clear in the Washington Administrative Code shown, in part, below:

WAC 181-79A-231
Limited certificates.
Notwithstanding other requirements prescribed in this chapter for eligibility for certification in the state of Washington, the following certificates shall be issued under specific circumstances set forth below for limited service:

(1) Conditional certificate.

(a) The purpose of the conditional certificate is to assist local school districts, approved private schools, and educational service districts in meeting the state's educational goals by giving them flexibility in hiring decisions based on shortages or the opportunity to secure the services of unusually talented individuals. The professional educator standards board encourages in all cases the hiring of fully certificated individuals and understands that districts will employ individuals with conditional certificates only after careful review of all other options. The professional educator standards board asks districts when reviewing such individuals for employment to consider, in particular, previous experience the individual has had working with children.

(b) Conditional certificates are issued upon application by the local school district, approved private school, or educational service district superintendent to persons who meet the age, good moral character, and personal fitness requirements of WAC 181-79A-150 (1) and (2), if one of the following conditions is verified:

(i) The applicant is highly qualified and experienced in the subject matter to be taught and has unusual distinction or exceptional talent which is able to be demonstrated through public records of accomplishments and/or awards; or

(ii) No person with regular teacher certification in the endorsement area is available as verified by the district or educational service district superintendent or approved private school administrator, or circumstances warrant consideration of issuance of a conditional certificate.

So, as you can see, a conditional certificate is not synonymous with "full State certification." And inexperienced Teach for America "corps members" are not highly-qualified (though they may think otherwise) under NCLB. As parents, we know that to be true. It doesn't take the "best and the brightest" to see this. Nor does it take a law degree. But we will turn to the court to protect our childrens' education should the Board approve moving forward with this ill-advised agreement with Teach for America.

I ask you again to seriously reconsider the proposal set before you. As a parent, I feel I speak for many who say enough is enough.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Melissa for going to these meetings.

Just to let you know, Representatives Sharon Nelson and Eileen Cody, sent a letter to the superintendent saying that they do not want to see Teach for America as full time teachers in our schools but recommended that they would make fine teaching assistants. Something that Ortega with TFA said "didn't work for them in the past" when the same suggestion was given at a PTSA meeting at Rainier Beach High School this week. Gee, I wonder why. Not as much money involved?

Sue and I are in the process now of getting a copy of this letter from these two representatives. I did see and read a copy of the letter at the last school board meeting as it was circulated to a few people.

I would highly recommend that everyone contact their city council representatives and tell them exactly what we think of TFA. Burgess is big on the idea of TFA but I think it's because he has only heard from one side and that side has no real stake in the success of our children.

Anonymous said...

mirmac,

If the school board approves this request from the supe regarding TFA, they will have a fight on their hands that they have never seen before.

The best part is that it will be viewed nationwide, something that most school board members would prefer not to happen.

mirmac1 said...

Well, they'll see that they can no longer "divide and conquer." No more pitting APP against SpecEd against teachers against students against north against south. I want to come down on them like a ton of bricks.

Anonymous said...

mirmac,

You are right.

We all understand at this point that each group has been willfully ignored by the superintendent, from Special Education students to APP, from Garfield to Nova, from the north end to the south end.

It has all been about the supe's agenda as a Broad Foundation graduate and active member of the Broad Foundation and nothing more.

Her script has been the Broad script. It doesn't matter what town or city you are in, the Broad has decided what is best for the rest of us. That is the ultimate conflict of interest because what the Broad thinks works doesn't mean that it works in Seattle with our children.

Anonymous said...

so, i just got an email in from my union rep- it appears tfa and the Negotiating team worked out a deal over the summer about rifs. -
Does this mean SEA knew this was coming, negotiated a deal knowing they were coming, but didn't disclose this prior to our vote?
-?

dan dempsey said...

If the recall sufficiency is approved on Nov. 18th, how many folks are up for organizing to gather a minimum of 32,000 valid signatures for the recall of each of four school directors by April 30, 2011?

If the signature gathering is successful, that would put the recall election around the time of the filing for the office of school director in early June 2011.

dan dempsey said...

Anonymous (?) said:

"so, i just got an email in from my union rep- it appears tfa and the Negotiating team worked out a deal over the summer about rifs. -
Does this mean SEA knew this was coming, negotiated a deal knowing they were coming, but didn't disclose this prior to our vote?"


Given the actions of Glen Bafia et al. in regard to RttT, my guess would would be "the SEA knew about the deal and did not disclose it to members".

This tracks in perfect alignment with the agreements the SEA's Big Wigs made in regard to contract concessions over Cleveland STEM. They essentially changed an existing contract without consent of the members in regard to Cleveland.

So this speculation of yours is not new..... it is a continuation of an established practice of fooling the membership.

Anonymous said...

oh, and they negotiated the 'application' of tfa candidates rather than a placement into a school. What a victory.
-?

Mr. Edelman said...

I admit that I'm catching up to where many of you have been on this issue for weeks. I've been working 65-70 hours a week the last two weeks, and I've fallen behind on some details.

I now see the circular relationship between WAC 181-79A-231 and the OSPI memo that sets forth the parameters for a conditional cert in the case of an alternative route to certification. Question: can this be challenged in court? Who would be challenged? The state? I don't see how you could sue the district over state guidelines.

That said, I understand how the district can equate a conditional cert with highly qualified.

With regard to the suggestion of SEA and district collusion on TFA. I don't buy it. In negotiations, the SEA rejected TFA. When the Board reinstated TFA on the agenda, the SEA was caught unprepared. Leadership was genuinely surprised. The leadership may not be politically savvy (I'm being kind), but I don't believe anyone is colluding with the district on TFA.

One thing I don't understand: how can the district place ELL and special ed TFA candidates with conditional certificates? The rules set forth by OSPI for equating highly qualified and conditional certs applied only to core subjects, and special ed and ELL aren't core subjects. What am I missing?

Finally, with the projected budget gap and no help on the way, we can expect lots of RIFs in the spring. What positions will be open during Phase III hiring? What is going on here?

Melissa Westbrook said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa Westbrook said...

es, SEA clearly knew TFA was on the table. Olga told me that they had talked about it during negotiations but she made it sound like the SEA had deflected it away.

TFA doesn't do student teaching or teacher aide work. It's not their mission and certainly wouldn't work for most TFAers resumes. That people keep bringing it up is like the word the Borg like to use - futile.

And guess who I ran into at the ACLU Bill of Rights dinner last night? Mayor McGinn.

ParentofThree said...

"And guess who I ran into at the ACLU Bill of Rights dinner last night? Mayor McGinn."

And what did you and the Mayor chat about?

ParentofThree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa Westbrook said...

The Mayor and I chatted about chatting. Soon.

mirmac1 said...

RCW 28A.660.040
Alternative route programs.

Alternative route programs under this chapter shall operate one to four specific route programs. Successful completion of the program shall make a candidate eligible for residency teacher certification. The mentor of the teacher candidate at the school and the supervisor of the teacher candidate from the teacher preparation program must both agree that the teacher candidate has successfully completed the program.

So, until completion of a route, the individuals are only candidates and do not hold a residency certificate.

The WAC differentiates between limited certs and "full" or "regular" certificates.

Sahila said...

Directors...

Diane Ravitch, author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education (New York: Basic Books, 2010) - which I believe SPS parent Chris Stewart gave you all to read last spring - recently addressed a forum in Seattle and commented on the merits of TFA recruits teaching in low performance schools.

Here she is speaking at the REEP, KIPP and TFA Lecture Series at Rice University in Houston, on October 14th 2010.

Diane Ravitch on ed reform and TFA - Houston Oct 14 2010

Please watch and consider what she and many others - including peer reviewed studies - have to say and vote "NO" to bringing TFA to Seattle.

mirmac1 said...

Why can Sacramento do it and we cannot? I say we can!

sacramento-city-schools-will-skip TfA

Braessea said...

Hmm. Interesting posts on potential law suits. Also, consider this:

1. As the contract is currently drafted, the SSD has the "obligation" to secure the conditional certifications. Does that mean, if SSD cannot, because lawsuits make it impossible, SSD could be liable to TfA for damages? Maybe. The indemnification by the SSD is sure broad.

2. If a lawsuit is broght and it also names TfA (not clear that it would, but also not certain it wouldn't), SSD is very possibly on the hook for all of TfA's damages and losses (maybe including attorney's fees, loss of "start up costs" in the Seattle area, maybe even the $4000 per year for teachers that they are now unable to place? Who knows!)

And all for a contract that (as Charlie notes) we shouldn't have to enter into at all! If they want to be hired, they can apply; the District can help them get conditional certs if it wants to (and decline to help them if the cost/hassle is prohibitive -- as the District SHOULD be able to, but will not be able to, if it signs). If the District doesn't want to hire them unless a private party pays the annual fee, the District, TfA, and the private donor can surely work that out at the time that a spot becomes available.

The ONLY reason the District is being required to sign all this now is for the convenience and protection of TfA -- NOT the District's students. Wholly apart from the merits of TfA teachers in classrooms, SSD is entering into a detrimental, and wholly unnecessary contract, just for the purposes of helping TfA do business and shielding TfA from expense and liability.

How can KS-B, DeBell, Maier, Carr, etc. etc. agree to this. This deal is ALL downside to the District, and all upside to TfA.

mirmac1 said...

That's right Brassea. We need to start a new TfA thread.

brainstorming said...

Melissa said: "I asked if the district would be making sure that all parents with TFA teachers will understand about their FERPA rights.

Do you know what the parental rights really are in this particular situation? Parents should be able to opt out of any personally identifiable data about their children being given out to any 3rd party, right? That includes test scores, videography, anything.

Knowing exactly what the rules are and making sure that each and every parent in an affected school or classroom understands their rights is really important. In fact, if you could get close to 100% of the families in these buildings to opt out, would that be enough disincentive for TfA to reevaluate their push here in Seattle?

The "upon request from the District" is a complete crock. I don't believe they will request the data to be returned or destroyed, and I don't believe the Board will hold them to it. I don't even know if I trust TfA to completely destroy data when they're asked.

Perhaps I don't understand FERPA completely, but if this is a remotely viable option maybe we could get some groups to go out in person to visit with families. I would be willing to help inform families and help them sign FERPA-compliant documents, to whatever degree it makes sense. It might be tricky because the district isn't going to tell us where the teachers are in advance, and many parents sign documents without knowing what they're signing. Does FERPA allow a parent to change their preference mid-year? Or after one month?

Thoughts?

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