Board Agenda For Meeting on Wednesday, 8/17/2011

The agenda looks fairly light on Wednesday but with a few notable items.   (I note that today - Saturday the 13th - the agenda is not accessible at the SPS website but I had already downloaded it yesterday.  I'll post it when it comes back up.) Update: here's the link.

The agenda was reviewed at the Executive Committee meeting held earlier in the week (which no School Board candidates attended which is unfortunate as it's where you see the real work done).

Consent Agenda

One item of note is the Board approval of the submission of the Highly Capable Grant to OSPI.  I believe it was the push from Charlie but this item has been amended to state "Board approval to submit this grant application..." from "Board approval of the grant application ..."  Charlie's point was that at the Intro to this item, the grant wasn't even attached so how could the Board approve something they couldn't see? This version just has the Board approving staff to submit the grant.  Did any of the Board read it?  Don't know.  (Also the grant application says this was due July 1 but maybe they received an extension.)

To note from the application:

The formula for calculating district Highly Capable Program allocations has changed. The allocation is no longer a flat per pupil expenditure multiplied by a percent of the district’s basic education enrollment. 

The new prototypical formula uses the same percent of enrollment but now generates state funding using the district staff mix factor and state funded salary amounts. Based upon this new formula, the actual rate per student will vary by district and may be higher or lower than in the past. 

The district’s monthly allocation will be adjusted throughout the grant period (as it is currently) based on changes in reported enrollment. Also, there is no carryover provision for Highly Capable Program grants. Please work with your business officer to monitor any changes to your allocation during the year. 

The amount is $403,142 and the district projects 1,879 students served by this grant (they needed 2.314% of the district's total basic ed FTE which is 1032).  The totals by grade level are broken out in the grant with the highest number served (265) is in 6th grade.  The district serves 721 in grades 1-5, 657 in grades 6-8 and 531 in high school.  This is APP students only.  (One thing I don't know about is Raven testing; this is listed as one assessment instrument the district uses.  Anyone?)

There is also the Personnel report.  Here you will find all the hires, retire/re-hires,retirements and "separations" (people exiting the system) in the district.  It's an interesting list.   One person of note - Jessica De Barros whose last day was August 8th.  She would be the last of the Broad hires. 

Action Items

Here is where the superintendent approves the applications for conditional certification.  Now either I heard wrong at the Executive Committee meeting or something changed this week but there are 3 TFA hires (plus the one who already has a teaching certificate who is going to Washington).

All the hires are women who are UW grads and all will be working at Aki Kurose.  Two are journalism majors and the other is a history major.  One has had previous experience at Aki through City Year so I suspect the principal felt she would be a good fit.  One candidate said in January 2011 that she would like to be a political reporter but "the job market is hard to get into at the moment." 

The district states:

Fiscal impact to this action will be negligible.  There is no cost to the district, other than minimal
staff time, o apply to OSPI/PESB for a conditional certificate (the conditional certificate fees are
paid by the candidates themselves).  The district match part of the Teach for America agreement
must be funded by private donors; no district funds will be expended.  

None of these women have math or science degrees so we are still in the dark as to who our mystery donor is (remember the board game "Mystery Date" - who's behind the door?)

As for the "negligible" fiscal impact, well, that's simply not true.  There is HR time, mentoring time (and they need extra help, remember?) and other overhead.  And, they will likely be rotating out in 2 years, so there goes that money.

In the "whoa" category, there is a strange line under "Policy Implication" -
School Board policy F 01.00 calls for hiring for diversity and quality.  The Teach for America
contract was initially entered into because of a belief that a broad candidate pool will result in
high quality teachers in each of our classrooms. 

What does "initially entered" mean?  Did something change?

Other Action items include MOUs with SEA and PASS and non-represented staff about the furlough days.  There had been discussion at the Executive Committee meeting about mentioning the other represented groups who have chosen not to participate.

Also on the list of Action items is the King County Metro Transportation contract.  It was reported that there were changes to the plan (suggested by Metro) that would save the district money but paying only for trips used.  It may save as much as $100k per year.   Michael DeBell pointed out that distribution to students as well as lost cards continues to be an issue.

So that's the Board meeting agenda.  It is likely that few people will be calling to be on the Speakers List so it's a good time to address the Board.  First thing Monday is when to call (252-0040) or e-mail (  

It will also be an interesting meeting as it is the day after the primaries and we'll have a better idea of how the incumbents did.

To finish up on the report back from the Executive Committee meeting:
  • Steve Sundquist pointed out that are "big issues around capacity planning."  He says there needs to be community input on this issue.  
  • Michael DeBell states that the district needs a plan on capacity management outreach.  He said, "The first day of school will see significant overcrowding at many locations."  He said they needed to take the "emotional reaction" and be able to channel it into something constructive.    He said they need a mechanism for people to express concerns and put them into action.  No one disagreed with him on this point so remember this when school starts:  they ALL KNOW there will be overcrowding.
  • Susan Enfield said they are expecting a report from the Demographics Taskforce at the Board meeting on September 24.  (All fine and well but that's WEEKS after school starts.  What the plan for the issues Michael and Steve raised?")
  • Michael also stated that the transition plan for the NSAP and the enrollment guide is the deadline and "we are working backwards."  
  • The Work Session prior to the Board meeting will be on Distribution Services.  Sherry Carr was firm about needing management and oversight of contracts with vendors.
  • Michael also expressed concern over the Legislature possibly coming in with new attendance law and how the district would handle this.  (Susan Enfield mentioned - and it's an upcoming thread - that the Mayor's office is planning an initiative on this issue.)  He said that there had been testing cheating in Atlanta and he worried over "attendance cheating" over the pressures that may come from any legislation.
There was some discussion around technology.  Michael pointed out that the Board has never had an open-ended discussion on where the district is going in technology and that it's a lost opportunity.  He said they are making process by contract rather than vision.  He also said they may have to "shift" money out of technology to open buildings and think nimbly.  (Less MAP?)

Susan Enfield pointed out that they are hiring a new head of technology.  Michael persisted and said that the Board needs to offer some guiding principles/vision because "we hear a lot from community on misdirection or lost opportunities."  Sherry concurred with Michael.

They then discussed the issue of the superintendent search.  He said that he wanted the new Board to have as much info from community as possible going into January (which is when they would need to start).  He wants to know what the community wants from a superintendent.  It sounds like they may do a survey and some public meetings.

Dr. Enfield mentioned that they have several names for the new Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance (formerly CFO).  Steve reminded her that the Board will be providing input on the hiring of upper management.

There was also mention about the furloughs and federal law and reminding staff NOT to work at all that day.

One interesting pushback was over the updating of Board policies.   It seems like the staff is trying to push this through and the Board seems to be feeling some uneasiness with going too fast.  Sherry pointed out that they are not on any deadline; it is work of their own making.  She said she wanted it to be good work and it is risky not to allow the Board to ponder the ramifications of any changes.  Michael concurred.  He said he was a bit worried that he had received no questions from the public and that he wondered if they even understand this is going on.  (The only feedback I've heard about was around the attendance policy.

They will be discussing these at the first Board meeting in September.  We need to read through these policies because while some are just renumbered/renamed, many are complete overhauls that will affect your child's education.


SP said…
re: updating Board policies-
The C&I (Curriculum & Instruction) Policy committee meeting this Monday Aug. 15th has all but 10 minutes of the agenda posted as one simple sentence, "Board Policies C and D (4:00- 5:50)- Holly Ferguson"

There are no details of what will be covered- Policy C is the Curriculum & Instruction section (over 100 policies) and D is titled, Students (50+ policies). You are right Melissa, these policies do directly affect all of our students, and if it was left up to the district, these all would be changed into "Superintendent procedures" so there would be no direct Board oversight of writing and/or following these procedures.
heard thru grapevine said…
On the agenda for Monday's meeting is new District policy for on-line learning.

According to current policy, "Students in all grades are eligible to participate in online learning opportunities, if appropriate." (Superintendent Procedure C57.01SP)

The District is proposing that online learning NOT be permitted for grades K-8. Additionally, contracting with an online provider will only be permitted if a school cannot teach a required course within the regular school day.

This will affect students that wish to take high school level classes in middle school that the middle school is unable to (or refuses to) offer.
StopTFA said…
Let's take a look at the prospective TFA hires. First, it appears the three uncertificated young women are caucasian. So much for creating diversity in the teacher corps. Second, I am impressed with the anti ed reform credentials of Desiree Robinette. She strikes me as a keeper. It could very well be the impression she made while a City Year member at Aki last year has led the building hiring team to think that all TFA are like that. Nonetheless, I find it hard to believe that a recent journalism major somehow beat out all applicants for math teacher, and how a PR and communications major beat out all applicants for LA/Social studies teacher.

I'm sure these are fine young women. I have nothing bad to say about them. My gripe is with the attitude of this board and this administration, that teaching takes no particular skill and minimal preparation. It is a slap in the face for the UW grad students who've selected teaching as their career, and for the experienced teachers who were (unnecessarily) RIFfed and are still looking for work.
seattle citizen said…
Someone should FOIA the number of applicants for each of the TFA-filled positions, and the credentials of each applicant. This could be done without disclosing names, and would tell us whether people with actual credentials were passed over for five-week conditional certs.
Dorothy Neville said…
Raven's matrices test is a cognitive aptitude test that does not rely on language, therefore is appropriate for those not fluent in English.
Anonymous said…
Why were these 3 candidates only hired at Aki Kurose and no other school in Seattle?

What is the deal here? Who is the principal and who's on the hiring committee?

Is the the school where Bree's husband was a teacher until we found out he's "former" after the Seattle Times Gate's article?

--Something more than fishy here
Anonymous said…
Regarding bus passes and special education students.....

Imagine my surprise when I got a letter from the district indicating that my child with autism would be issued a Metro card as his means for transportation to middle school. Incidentally, the assigned middle school is located at the opposite end of town from where we live!

SeattleSped said…

That sounds like a load of hooeey. First, why is the assignment across town? And if they don't want to bus, then I say a taxi is appropriate. Email me at
I'll be at that meeting but I find it amusing that they don't want on-line learning if THEY are providing it.

On-line learning is the next big ed reform push. But I guess for now, allowing kids to push harder and take classes they want, well, no to that.

But we'll see.

Something's fishy, you'd have to ask the principal. No, the school that Ms. Dusseault's husband taught at was Mercer. He has since given that up to create an astroturf teacher group via Gates Foundation. That's very TFA - jump ship and do something else in "education."

Worried, obviously an error. There are still yellow school buses for Special Ed students. Let Transportation know.
SP said…
from the transportation agenda link & "Free Ride Bus Passes":

"In an effort to improve customer service and help reduce costs for its users, King County has developed the new ORCA Business Passport Product, where annual costs will be based on actual student-per-ride usage. All cards will be funded for the full school year unless a student loses their eligibility – and at that time their card will be electronically blocked."

So, if costs are now calculated on actual student-per-ride usage, and they now have the capability of electronic blocking, why not just allow these passes to be valid for school days/hours only and stop paying for kids to be able to use these passes 24/7? I know its a nice bonus that the bus-zone kids get (they feel like they've won the 4-year "FREE RIDE" lottery!), but it sure is expensive seeing how many kids uses these passes weekends & evenings for a full 10 months of the year.
GreyWatch said…
@sp - I don't know how the passes work now, but I would imagine the kids get a monthly regional pass based on their zone needs - single zone peak probably. If you add up the fares separately, 5x week/2x a day for the month, the monthly passes are a better deal cost wise from a tax payer perspective, and much better than having parents drive them around, or worse, more teenage drivers on the road!
GreyWatch said…
just looked at the language in the agenda. makes no sense. per the fare info on metro's website, a monthly youth pass is $27 for ages 6-18, up to two-zones. SPS rationale for switching to per use pricing is that the pass has gone up to $36. Is King County charging more for SPS students than what is posted on their website? something is missing here.

yes, a switch away from the unlimited passes, whatever the real price is, may put a few bucks back in the budget for kids who don't ride everyday. however, have the negative impacts of capping use been examined?

am thinking this will be a hassle for low-income kids, and families who can't figure out how to to load extra $ on their orca cards (the system is not user friendly), all of which will result in bus drivers trying to explain to kids why their pass isn't working.
Dorothy Neville said…
King County is changing the contract, this is not something SPS has an opportunity to decide. The estimate is that it will save the district a couple hundred thousand dollars a year. The orca cards will be good -- should not have the scenario where the card doesn't work -- and the district will be billed in arrears.

While some kids use the pass a lot, more than to and from school, many kids never use it. How long has the district used Orca cards? At least a year, yes? So METRO would have good data to know what percent of passes are never used vs what percent of passes are used more than enough times to justify the pass.
GreyWatch said…
@ Dorothy - kids will still be able to use the cards on an unlimited basis? If so, and if it saves money, by all means go for it.
Dorothy Neville said…
@Greywatch, as far as the discussion at the Exec committee meeting went, there was no talk about limiting kids' access to their orca card. The big savings would be in not paying for passes for kids who never use them. What will the future bring? Will there be a time when the cards are only valid on school days? Who knows.

One thing to note is that this has not gone through regular committee yet. It was discussed in exec committee as an agenda item. It is supposed to go to Ops. This is somewhat of a fast track because this is not something in SPS control, it is a METRO decision and the contract needs to be finalized. I believe Ops meets soon and it should be on their agenda as well. So perhaps ask an Ops committee member these questions?
SeattleSped said…

Here's some advice from Cathy Thompson herself:

"However, you also indicate that the transportation for your (child's) current school assignment poses a hardship..., as stated in the letter written by (the) therapist. If you wish to pursue ...placement at (this school) based on this hardship, you would do so through the district’s 504 office. To pursue this option, please contact Carole Rusimovic at or by calling 206-252-0118."

Unfortunately, SpEd parents must jump through hoops for simple, straight-forward issues.
Po3 said…
So in August they know there are schools that will be overcrowded in Sept. Will these schools also be under staffed? Can we expect to see a repeat of Garfield played out all over the city?
Michael Rice said…

I have to comment on the hiring of the TFA candidates at Aki Kurose. I am particularly galled that person without a certificate to teach middle school math (with a degree in political science and journalism) is going to be teaching math. What bothers me about this does how does this person get an interview, when I know of two certificated math teachers (yes, one of them is my wife), can't even get an interview? How does this best serve the students at Aki? Given my experience with the students from Aki when they get to RB, I cannot see how they will be prepared for high school math when one of their teachers is someone who did not have to take any math to graduate from college? Please understand that this is not meant as a personal attack on this person. I am sure she is a fine person and is incredibly idealistic. I just want to point out the flaws in the system and to once again reinforce the notion that there are many certificated teachers who would love to have the chance to teach at a school like Aki, won't need anywhere near the amount of hand holding and mentoring that a TFA candidate will need, will be effective from the first day of school, and will want to make teaching a career, unlike the TFA candidates, who are doing this to pad their resumes before they pursue the careers they really want.
Heather said…
From the post: "The Teach for America contract was initially entered into because of a belief that a broad candidate pool will result in high quality teachers in each of our classrooms."

I agree: Whoa! That wording sounds a lot like the Silas Potter program which was (officially)to create a broad contractor pool that will result in cost savings to the District through increased competition. Of course, we all know that it was to fatten the pockets of all those involved.

Again, WHOA!
Anonymous said…
I think it is very important for the Aki Kurose principal to justify why he or she has hired 3 TFA people and no other school in the district has (so far) hired any candidates.

The fact that a newly hired math teacher has no math degree or endorsement is pathetic.

If this had been the only TFA hire,
it would be bad enough. Three in a row reeks.

--This is a feeder school for RBHS
Anonymous said…
I thought teachers have to also be "highly qualified in math" to teach math at the secondary level. Same for all the other subjects btw. How can a person get a position if they don't have the "highly qualified" designation given by SPS HR.

Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Po3, because I know principals have been told to understaff their schools, I suspect at least part of the reason is to hire TFA at the last minute. Will all overcrowded schools be understaffed? Probably not but I suspect some will (given the directive).

As for the math designation for teaching at secondary, I'm going to let StopTFA explain how this probably works.

Michael, I can't believe your wife, who teaches math, couldn't even get an interview.

So we haven't increased the diversity in SPS nor the numbers of people with majors in math and science. Hire on, SPS!
Anonymous said…
From the current SEA teacher contract (pg 112):

A teacher is automatically considered Highly Qualified when he/she proves that he/she has:

-Passed the Praxis II in the Content Area

-Washington State Endorsement in Content Area

-Academic Major in Content Area

-National Board Certification in Content Area

-45 Credits in Content Area

If not highly qualified by the above criteria, a teacher may qualify by using the HOUSSE
(Highly Objective Uniform State Standard Evaluation) method for the core subject areas.

another reader
StopTFA said…
Actually, middle school teachers in core subject areas must satisfy at least one of the following, to be considered Highly Qualified:

Passage of the West-E subject area test.
Academic major in subject area
Graduate degree in subject area
Coursework equivalent to a major in subject area (45 units)

Furthermore, for teaching social studies (no college major, per se) a middle school teacher would need to satisfy one of the four criteria above in history, economics, geography or civics/government.

So, even with a conditional certificate and showing "satisfactory progress" towards requirements for licensure, some of these new hires would not meet HQ status.
Anonymous said…
Seattlesped, Thank you! We already went through the hoops of transportation, and that part is OK now. Still, it a shock to get the letter about the Metro Passes. Other families got it too.

Maureen said…
StopTFA said: First, it appears the three uncertificated young women are caucasian.

How do you know this?

There are about fifty Education jobs currently listed on the SPS web site. Can TFA Corps members still apply for these or is it too late for them to get certified now?

I wonder who determines which applications actually get sent to the schools and how long a particular job is posted. I have the impression (from serving on hiring committees) that the HR department can have a significant amount of control over which applications a school actually sees.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
StopTFA said…
This is my favorite for Ms. Robinette. She will make an excellent teacher and (lower case) education reformer some day. I hope she does not succumb to the TFA "cult-like" atmosphere and arrogance.

Letter to Obama

Maureen, much like how teachers are expected to guess the race/ethnicity of their students for input into the statewide longitudinal database, I used my eyeballs to reach that conclusion.
Maureen said…
I see Katie Schmidt received a scholarship at UW in the Communication Dept last year.

Katie Schmidt is a third-year student majoring in Political Science and Journalism. She works at a campus writing center, sails for the University of Washington and is doing research with a professor of Scandinavian studies. She plans to graduate next year, and then hopes to work as a journalist for an online or community paper somewhere in Washington. She would like to go into environmental reporting eventually because the work that she has done in political science has made her interested in environmental policy making in the United States.

I wonder what happened this year that inspired her with a passion to fight the achievement gap? (And I believe she will be teaching middle school math?)

(I do want to echo StopTFA's comment above: I'm sure all of these young women will be hard working and dedicated. I just wonder why Seattle can't wait for them to actually receive teaching degrees before we put them in front of our kids.)

Thanks to anonymous for that link as well as this one for Ms. Robinette.

(Anonymous comments are deleted on this blog.)
Dorothy Neville said…
Kendra Abernathy's google cached linkedin profile says she graduated UW in 2010 and has been working on Masters in Ed (Secondary) from Arizona State Univsersity since then. It also says she's been teaching LA/SS for TfA since November 2009.
StopTFA said…
(Highly Objective Uniform State Standard Evaluation) HOUSSE is only available for experienced (>1 yr) teachers.
Anonymous said…
So, how is it that TFA can even be considered if they aren't highly qualified. Doesn't NCLB guarantee a highly qualified teacher? Or does it just mean that a district "increase" it's pool of highly qualified teachers. I doubt TFAers will meet any of the qualifications to actually be highly qualified at the secondary level.

StopTFA said…
The TFAer need only need ONE of the criteria. So, as long as our three can either; pass the WestE in the content area, has an academic major in that area, has a graduate degree in that area, or at least 45 units in that area, no prob.
Maureen, there's a lot you can find out if you Google someone. I'm 99% sure I have the right people.

No, I'm sure TFA recruits are applying right now for those 50 jobs (and I'll bet there is pressure somewhere to hire them but whether it's at the principal level or district level).
alt_teach_seattle said…
The TFA teachers have been hired and they were chosen from hundreds of applicants. The principal obviously picked them for a specific reason, not simply because they are TFA (Ms. Robinette-City Year, Ms. Abernathy-previous teaching experience, etc.), since Aki hired 20+ new teachers this year. While people may choose to continue to talk negatively about Aki's new TFA teachers, I think it is time to shut up and let them work. If they fail, I will be the first to admit my fault and I'm sure this blog will be ranting with chants of "I told you so..." BUT, they have not failed, they are just beginning.
Anonymous said…
@alt teacher

That's the point--there were probably 100s of applicants who had gone through an internship with a master teacher prior to getting on-the-job training. Those applicants had to demonstrate a certain level of proficiency before going out to experiment on the students at Aki.

Why were 3 out of 20 hired at Aki
and (apparently, so far) no where
else? This is what is being questioned.

People on this blog are not in the business of wishing the TFA teachers failure. On the contrary,
people here are advocating for the students at Aki, a population who are often not given enough advocacy. This is not about the adults but, rather, what kind of education the students at Aki deserve.

--experimenting on children of color living in poverty is immoral
mirmac1 said…
@alt teacher,

Just curious. Does someone at HR vet the 100's of applications and pass along a selected number (how many?) to the school hiring team?

Sahila said…
A 9th Circuit Court judge about six months ago, ruled that alternatively certified "teachers" didnt meet the definition of high qualified under NCLB and could not be assigned/hired to low income schools/classrooms - something to do with equity issues..

About two months later, a clause was sneaked into the Federal Appropriations Bill, allowing TFAers etc to be called "highly qualified"....

I believe this clause trumps local regulations - hence the door open here for TFAers...

I thought I read somewhere that this whole issue is being appealed, but I am not certain on that...

Stop TFA will know more about this...
Maureen said…
For the sake of their students, if nothing else, I don't want the TFA Corps members to fail. I do object to them being hired over certificated candidates when there is no shortage of trained professional teachers in Seattle and there is no evidence that TFA CMs do actually close the achievement gap as compared to certificated teachers.

I would prefer that these wonderful young candidates go get their student teaching experience in a classroom that would otherwise have a sub or uncertificated teacher and then come back to Seattle and build their careers here along side the great teachers we have.
Maureen said…
(I'm posting this here because this thread has TfA in the the subject line and the Open Thread doesn't.)

I ran across an interesting post about TfA at Stories from School (interesting blog).

In it blogger Kristin says she has reevaluated her stand on TfA because, in part:

The second thing that changed my mind was that, in this room where almost everyone was a TFA alum (most of them still teaching), I didn't hear one excuse or complaint about kids and their families, or one whining comment on the life of a teacher. Not one. I heard a lot of discussion on teaching strategies that worked, a lot of creative solutions to building budget issues and a lot of stories about connecting to families. Not one person started in on the tired "more money," "smaller class size" or "no one respects us" topics.

It's a thoughtful post I think and worth reading. (But I still hold to my previous post.)
StopTFA said…
Title 34 CFR
§ 200.55 Qualifications of teachers.
(a) Newly hired teachers in Title I programs. (1) An LEA must ensure that all teachers hired after the first day of the 2002–2003 school year who teach core academic subjects in a program supported with funds under subpart A of this part are highly qualified as defined in §200.56.

(2) For the purpose of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, a teacher teaching in a program supported with funds under subpart A of this part is—

(i) A teacher in a targeted assisted school who is paid with funds under subpart A of this part;

(ii) A teacher in a schoolwide program school; or

(iii) A teacher employed by an LEA with funds under subpart A of this part to provide services to eligible private school students under §200.62.

(b) All teachers of core academic subjects. (1) Not later than the end of the 2005–2006 school year, each State that receives funds under subpart A of this part, and each LEA in that State, must ensure that all public elementary and secondary school teachers in the State who teach core academic subjects, including teachers employed by an LEA to provide services to eligible private school students under §200.62, are highly qualified as defined in §200.56.

(2) A teacher who does not teach a core academic subject—such as some vocational education teachers—is not required to meet the requirements in §200.56.

(c) Definition. The term “core academic subjects” means English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography.

(d) Private school teachers. The requirements in this section do not apply to teachers hired by private elementary and secondary schools.

StopTFA said…
§ 200.56 Definition of “highly qualified teacher.”

A teacher described in § 200.55(a) and (b) (1) is a “highly qualified teacher” if the teacher meets the requirements in paragraph (a) and paragraph (b), (c), or (d) of this section.

(a) In general.

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, a teacher covered under § 200.55 must—

(i) Have obtained full State certification as a teacher, which may include certification obtained through alternative routes to certification; or


(A) Have passed the State teacher licensing examination; and

(B) Hold a license to teach in the State.

(2) A teacher meets the requirement in paragraph (a)(1) of this section if the teacher—

(i) Has fulfilled the State's certification and licensure requirements applicable to the years of experience the teacher possesses; or

(ii) Is participating in an alternative route to certification program under which—

(A) The teacher—

(1) Receives high-quality professional development that is sustained, intensive, and classroom-focused in order to have a positive and lasting impact on classroom instruction, before and while teaching;

(2) Participates in a program of intensive supervision that consists of structured guidance and regular ongoing support for teachers or a teacher mentoring program;

(3) Assumes functions as a teacher only for a specified period of time not to exceed three years; and

(4) Demonstrates satisfactory progress toward full certification as prescribed by the State; and(B) The State ensures, through its certification and licensure process, that the provisions in paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section are met.

(3) A teacher teaching in a public charter school in a State must meet the certification and licensure requirements, if any, contained in the State's charter school law.

(4) If a teacher has had certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis, the teacher is not highly qualified.

StopTFA said…
(b) Teachers new to the profession. A teacher covered under § 200.55 who is new to the profession also must—

(1) Hold at least a bachelor's degree; and

(2) At the public elementary school level, demonstrate, by passing a rigorous State test (which may consist of passing a State certification or licensing test), subject knowledge and teaching skills in reading/language arts, writing, mathematics, and other areas of the basic elementary school curriculum; or

(3) At the public middle and high school levels, demonstrate a high level of competency by—

(i) Passing a rigorous State test in each academic subject in which the teacher teaches (which may consist of passing a State certification or licensing test in each of these subjects); or

(ii) Successfully completing in each academic subject in which the teacher teaches—

(A) An undergraduate major;

(B) A graduate degree;

(C) Coursework equivalent to an undergraduate major; or

(D) Advanced certification or credentialing.

StopTFA said…
So, it would appear a teacher new to the profession in a Title 1 school and teaching core subjects "also must" demonstrate competencies by meeting one of the four criteria I listed earlier (8/14 8:46). SPS WILL BE BOUND to inform the families of students that non-conforming teachers are not deemed highly-qualified.
Anonymous said…
But StopTFA, it isn't that easy to pass even one of the highly qualified criteria. I can't imagine that any of the TFA's without a credential would meet the math highly qualified criteria, for instance. So, how is it happening that they are being hired? And, highly qualified isn't a federal standard, it's local to the district. So Sahila's answer doesn't make sense either. It isn't the feds that designate "highly qualified".

Anonymous said…
The TFA teachers have been hired and they were chosen from hundreds of applicants. The principal obviously picked them for a specific reason, not simply because they are TFA (Ms. Robinette-City Year, Ms. Abernathy-previous teaching experience, etc.), since Aki hired 20+ new teachers this year.

Gee Alt-teacher, what koolaide have you been drinking? Yes it sucks to have to hire 20+ teachers for one small middle school. It can't be easy. That's why you don't want to fill up the spots with just anybody, or fill them with do-gooders who need a lot of hand-holding. If everyone's new, who will do the hand-holding? There isn't anyone. You want people who can hit the ground running.

And no, it's not "obvious" at all that TFA were "hired for a specific reason" by the principal. It's that judgement that is being questioned. It seems pretty obvious that this is a matter of butt kissing de-jour by the principal and building leadership. I'm sure the leaders hope to be promoted before the sh*t hits the fan. Schools like Aki will never get anywhere with leaders like that. Look around. Do you see other schools doing that?

StopTFA said…
What I posted was from the fed regulations. So although Arne's buddies watered down the actual NCLB language, his department's (and by extension OSPI's Title II A dept) retain the language regarding HQT in core subjects at middle and secondary school level.

How can they be hired? Good question. Why would SPS fail to comply with the law if they didn't need to? What the circumstances that warrant this?
Dorothy Neville said…
Well, it is completely probable that these three young women have passed the required tests or requirements to teach their subjects at Aki. They all look pretty good, although the math teaching without solid math is perhaps an issue. We do not know. It is even possible that these were the best available folks who applied and interviewed. We do not know that either. From my discussions over the years, great middle school LA/SS teachers exist, but are not a dime a dozen.

Math? Who knows! Perhaps by hiring a TfA person, the principal won't have the ED breathing down her neck to insist that the teacher practice fidelity of implementation with Connected Math.

TfA wants to have more than one CM in a building to support each other and to make it easier for the TfA office to support them. I wish them well. Aki has its challenges, but it will certainly be an easier placement than in some decaying urban cores or impoverished rural communities.
Anonymous said…

The quote by Kristin in the blog
stated that there were "a bunch"
of TfA alum still teaching and sounding more upstanding in their water cooler talk that other teacher-types. How much is a "bunch"? According to TfA's own statistics, most are not teaching after three years. It's a touching story but the very vagueness makes it questionable.

@Dorothy Neville

I'm glad the TfAs won't be in some harrowing slum school, too, but I'm mostly sorry that the students who attend those kinds of schools are in those schools. TfA or any teaching job does not exist for the comfort level of the teachers. However, all students, especially the most vulnerable (and Aki Kurose is one of Seattle's versions of that definition) deserve teachers who have at least demonstrated a basic level of proficiency before experimenting on the children in the school.

--shame on the hiring committee at Aki Kurose and its apologizers
StopTFA said…
Shame on,

The Ninth Circuit agreed with you. Congress designed, and the court interpreted that the highly qualified and equity provisions of NCLB would protect students like those in Aki. Shame on the board, admin, and the Aki hiring team for thinking they know better than Ted Kennedy and the Court; figuring a nice neat cluster would be best for...the TFA initiative. Who cares about the students.
Sahila said…
Re testing.... new national group set up to stop standardised testing in each state:

go join group and then get started in the District...

already some educating work done at public meeting held at Thornton Creek School before school finished for the year...
AltTeach, no one wants any teacher to fail. I have not heard one person say that.

We are questioning why they were hired which is a valid question.

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