I know it’s been a busy week for most of the state’s teachers. Like me, you likely were caught up to speed on the changes that will be implemented in the school due to passage of laws in last year’s legislative session.
However, my ears certainly pricked up when an administrator announced to our staff that, unlike last year, all sophomores will be given the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC) this year instead of the Juniors.
“For movement to a Professional Certificate and
maintenance of a Professional Certificate: At least three
assessments must be used in demonstration of a
teacher’s student achievement. Of those three, the Idaho
Reading Indicator [IRI] and the Statewide standards
achievement test must be included as applicable. Student
Learning Objectives, including pre and post assessment
for student learning must be included for non-tested (SBA
IRI) subjects. Other measures shall be chosen at the
district level, selected from the attached list. The majority
of student achievement evaluation shall be based on
student growth” (58).
That’s what the proposed rule change requires for an educator to move from a residency certificate to a professional certificate, or for an educator to maintain a professional certificate and not be stripped of that certification and be placed on a quasi-probationary contingent certificate.
Perhaps the pressure is building in the press to stop the Orwellian “double speak” and force ISDE to stop calling the SBAC “ISAT 2.0”
Call it what it is: the SBAC is a national test based on national common core standards.
It is not the ISAT, developed for use in our state only using standards made for Idahoans.
The Moscow-Pullman Daily News published one of our recent blogs.
Below is the letter I sent to the Board regarding TIERED LICENSURE PROPOSAL FOR STATE RULES.
According to the new rules, an administrator’s evaluation has the potential to impact your teaching certification. This is particularly true for new teachers.
Remember, we only have 20 days remaining to contact the board and let them know what you think!
Please cc me on any emails you send to the board regarding this policy change. I would like to publish fellow educator’s viewpoints.
The Board’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org
My email to cc is email@example.com.
My letter, in full, is below.
EDIT 8/16: The IEA was kind enough to forward some information via email that was unavailible online at the time of the original post, and I’ve updated the links below.
The IEA provided me with a nicely succinct document that does a good job summarizing what the board was voting on titled TIERED LICENSURE PROPOSAL FOR STATE RULES.
However, for those that want to read the gigantic official state file, it is available here. Be forewarned: you’re going to need some quality reading time.
This information changes a few minor things, but I remain steadfast to the original post that this rule has the potential to strip certification.
For example, an initial residency certificate, if not renewed due to inability to meet new evaluation requirements, will effectively de facto strip that teacher of certification and force them to take at least 1 year off to work on “deficiencies.”
This contrasts to today’s procedure where a teacher’s employment might be terminated, but certainly not their certification.
In addition, a teacher on a professional certificate that is unable to meet renewal due to the new evaluation requirements will be stripped of their professional certificate and placed on a contingent certificate. Although this will allow the individual to continue teaching, it strips them of the professional certification and any leadership pay they may have had.
Again, this is much different than today’s procedure where employment might end, but the certificate remains in the hands of the instructor.
In other words, this rule proposal still has the potential to strip certification from a teacher; albeit the certification stripped depends on the type of certificate the instructor held to begin with.
Original 8/14 Post:
Despite consistent criticism by Idaho’s teachers, the State Board of Education voted tonight to tentatively proceed with a rule change that would allow a teacher’s certification to be revoked by an administrator.
That’s right: for the first time in Idaho’s history, it won’t be the Idaho Standards Commission who is in charge of revocation of Idaho’s teaching certificates; rather, an administrator’s evaluation will dictate not only continued employment, but the ability to teach via the non-renewal of a teacher’s certificate.
Recently Idaho State Department Chief of Staff, Luci Willits, announced in an interview with Idaho Ed News that the state is renaming the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s (SBAC’s) exam as “Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) 2.0”
I wrote Ms. Willits over this issue as I felt the name was inappropriate and misleading. In my letter I evaluated why I feel the rebranding is a poor decision; namely that the new name conveys that the exam is assessing the old Idaho Content Standards, not the new Common Core Standards, and that the new name perhaps conveys that Idaho has left the Consortium, which isn’t true.
Ms. Willits was kind enough to provide a timely reply to my email today. Her response, in full, is posted below. Continue reading
Recently Idaho State Department of Education Chief of staff, Luci Willits, declared in an interview with Idaho Ed News that the state is rebranding the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) as the “ISAT 2.0.”
I have a problem with this name-change for a variety of reasons. I sent a letter laying out my concern about the name change to Ms. Willits. My letter, in full, is below. Continue reading
The Great Education Struggle recently interviewed me for their weekly podcast. It was a great experience and we covered a lot of ground on a variety of topics in the classroom. It’s worth a listen!
Special thanks to host Isaac Moffett for the great questions.