Friday, November 19, 2010

New program to certify nontraditional teachers

From the PG:


Anonymous said...

Excerpted from above PG article:

Pittsburgh Schools superintendent Mark Roosevelt said, "Very high end African-American candidates are far more likely to come in the district through this alternative route than they are in the traditional route."

When Pittsburgh opened its Science and Technology Academy 6-12 last year, Mr. Roosevelt said some candidates with "phenomenal" science backgrounds couldn't teach because they weren't certified.

There is no mention of the art and training of the teaching methodology, but then again, superintendents are being trained with no educational or any extensive training (ie. Mark Roosevelt).

Questioner said...

There is very little information about the substance of the Teachers Academy instruction at all.

What is the syllabus for the training? How does it differ from the teacher education program at Pitt, for example? Where has the training program been implemented already, and what have the results been? Are there examples of successful graduates of this course of instruction?

Anonymous said...

From the Post-Gazette article:

"There was only one candidate for each physics opening, two for each opening in chemistry and five for each in special education."

This implies one of two things.

There could be a shortage of teachers in those fields. If this is the case, nontraditional certification methods may be of value if designed correctly.

But do not overlook a second possibility.

The Pittsburgh schools may be getting a reputation as a place where you DON'T want to teach.

Perhaps few people are applying because of the way the district is perceived.

lisa said...

Anon 1224, I thought the same thing when reading the article. How are PA colleges graduating so many teachers yet so few apply to the PPS? It does sound like a bad reputation is hurting the city schools.

Questioner said...

Maybe the message they are getting is that Pittsburgh prefers principals and teachers it trains on its own, so that in the long run they will be at a disadvantage in PPS.

Anonymous said...

What if there aren't positions for the people in the program? It seems like they're saying they'll be able to predict pretty accurately where they'll need teachers a year out (which seems highly unlikely or they wouldn't start school years with positions unfilled).

If you don't get a job after this program, can they ask you for that money back? Or are they so good at choosing teachers now that they'll only choose excellent (but new, untested, likely uncertified) teachers?

The teachers who aren't certified yet -- they can't be used as advertised in the whole Teacher academy thing, can they? You can't leave a class with a non-certified teacher. That makes it hard for them to fill in for older teachers coming in for training. Or are they going to be able to train and certify teachers in 3-4 months? Seems unlikely, since student teaching requirements are unlikely to be totally waived, I would hope.

Questioner said...

It really would be nice to see issues addressed BEFORE board votes take place. Not every detail, but basic questions.

Anonymous said...

Questioner, in your 2:39 post by "they" do you mean prospective new teachers?

If so, I can guarantee you that these new teachers do not shy away from PPS because of the training programs.

It's because of violence in the hallways, vulgar disrespect of teachers in the classroom, and the one-size-fits-all curriculum.

How do I know this? It's because I talk to the student teachers in my building.

I'm sure what they tell me they also tell to others back at their colleges.

Anonymous said...

The State Board of Education met in Harrisburg on November 17-18, 2010. Linda Lane and Jeri Lippert were in attendance. Following is the EPLC report on the legislative action from that meeting regarding Pittsburgh Public Schools:


The State Board of Education met in Harrisburg on November 17 -18.

The Council of Higher Education also heard testimony and approved a resolution regarding a pilot alternative certification program: The New Teacher Project (TNTP) in partnership with the Pittsburgh Public Schools. This program is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and has been reviewed by the Department of Education and determined to be consistent with candidate competencies in the guidelines developed by the Department. Pittsburgh is working with TNTP to design a residency (Teacher Academy) preparation model for individuals who hold at least a bachelor’s degree, demonstrate relevant content knowledge through state licensure exams and complete a rigorous screening process. This model includes an intensive summer program followed by a school year working with a Master teacher. After completing all program requirements, a decision would be made whether to recommend the candidate for state certification.

The full State Board of Education voted unanimously to approve this resolution.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr.Tarka,
Once again you have betrayed your teaching constituents. Once again you have lent support to an outrageous proposal, one which negates all that teachers have done to earn their degrees and further their education.
You sir, are a traitor of extraordinary bounds, as is your executive board, save for those who have come into it with a mandate from the rank and file--one that you have been busy circumventing at every turn.
Parents need to understand the collusion that you have undertaken with this school board. They need to understand that this latest contract proposal entails a loss for average teachers, as medical coverage has increased and our "raise" does not equate to cost of living. They need to understand that your support of RISE is particularly egregious, in that the incredible amount of intimidation now coming from administration via this avenue has you blessing. To hear you and your lieutenants speak of the program--as well as RISE teams in schools--it is clear that what you have done amounts to treason.
Now this.
I cam on board in this union and will be ready to retire soon. I fought many of the same fights you did. I understand solidarity. I am cognizant of the dedication of teachers and the appreciation that administration MUST show. I understand how difficult the job is.
You have forgotten in favor of being "progressive".
I feel truly sorry for young teachers. Dark days are ahead for you, no matter who the superintendent is. You have no union in your corner. You have no one with your best interests at heart. What a shame.