Monday, September 08, 2008

Rhee's "Plan B"

Looks like we now know what Chancellor Rhee's "Plan B" is: bypass the union (News4 come on down and collect your prize).
Without union buy-in, however, Rhee faces a longer, harder slog, which might involve changes in teacher licensure.

Under current D.C. rules, a teacher can receive a standard license by completing a college- or university-based teacher education program and passing Praxis, a teacher exam. It is renewable every five years upon completion of six credit hours of course work or 90 hours in professional development workshops.

Gist, who as state superintendent can set professional standards, has proposed amending the District's municipal regulations to make most licenses non-renewable. Teachers would be required to get a new "advanced teaching credential" by demonstrating classroom effectiveness through criteria she will determine during the next six to 12 months. Her plan would also broaden the range of accepted teacher education programs to include such nonprofit groups as Teach for America.

The proposed rules would give Rhee "maximum flexibility in selecting and placing candidates," according to a PowerPoint presentation on the state superintendent's Web site.

Gist has been working on the revisions through the rulemaking process, which does not require review by the D.C. Council or the D.C. State Board of Education. The revisions were posted on the D.C. Register Aug. 8 and become effective this week. Parker said he had no idea what Rhee's "Plan B" entails but that any attempt to use the licensing process to weaken tenure protections was unacceptable.

"It really appears to be a backdoor process of firing teachers," said Parker, who sent an e-mail to most of the District's 4,000 teachers last week warning them of the proposal.
The Quick and the Ed has a piece up about Parker's e-mail here.


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