Time to remind Idaho’s Legislature of the Master Educator Premium failure

I know it’s been awhile since you thought about the Master Educator Premium program. In fact, if you’re like me, you probably would rather have a root canal than think about that catastrophic failure of the Idaho Legislature’s making ever again.

Unfortunately, I need you to think about it a little bit more. But, I promise I only need a a few minutes of your time. That’s because the Idaho Legislature is about to kick off, and the only way to change this program for the better is with your help.

I need YOU to email the House and Senate Education members RIGHT NOW to let them know your problems with the Master Educator Premium program. If our representatives don’t hear from the folks in the trenches, it can only be our fault of there is no change.

GOOD NEWS: Attached below are the emails for the committees’ members and a sample letter that can easily be copied and pasted in an email.  IT ONLY TAKES A MINUTE TO SEND, AND WILL HELP US CREATE POSITIVE CHANGE FOR IDAHO’S TEACHERS.

I hope you had a well-deserved rejuvenating winter break. Happy New Year’s, and thanks for sending the letter below.

To:

lclow@house.idaho.gov

rkerby@house.idaho.gov

pshepherd@house.idaho.gov

jboyle@house.idaho.gov

rmendive@house.idaho.gov

gdemordaunt@house.idaho.gov

dmoon@house.idaho.gov

behardt@house.idaho.gov

bgoesling@house.idaho.gov

cabernathy@house.idaho.gov

sberch@house.idaho.gov

gmarshall@house.idaho.gov

jmccrostie@house.idaho.gov

jraymond@house.idaho.gov

twisniewski@house.idaho.gov

dmortimer@senate.idaho.gov

sthayn@senate.idaho.gov

cwinder@senate.idaho.gov

ldenhartog@senate.idaho.gov

ccrabtree@senate.idaho.gov

jwoodward@senate.idaho.gov

dlent@senate.idaho.gov

cbucknerwebb@senate.idaho.gov

jwardengelking@senate.idaho.gov

Greetings and best wishes to you in the upcoming legislative session. I am writing you to encourage you to review the lackluster results of the Master Educator Premium and review stakeholder feedback.

Specifically, stakeholders near-unanimously indicated that:

  • The portfolio process consumed a massive amount time that far exceeded State Board of Education estimates.
  • The very best veteran teachers boycotted the program to protest the idea that they must jump through even more hoops in addition to the already massive and burdensome teacher evaluation process. In fact, Idaho’s Teacher of the Year absconded for this very reason, and only 1 in 5 eligible educators even bothered to apply.
  • The process demonstrates the capacity of an applicant to complete paperwork, not their instructional expertise.
  • Our very best teachers would much rather use their precious spare time to improve student instruction, not complete piles of paperwork that lead to a bloated bureaucracy.

Stakeholder recommendations:

 

  • End the program and put allocated funds into veteran teacher salary allocation. This simple action would reward all of our very best master teachers and eliminate another costly paper-pushing bureaucracy from the Gem State.

 

  • If the program must remain, significantly reduce the burdensome requirements to encourage more eligible teachers to apply. Some ideas:
    • Provide an alternative pathway to Master Educator Status other than the portfolio. A teacher evaluation that rates a teacher as distinguished, for instance, should be satisfactory for eligibility requirements. 
    • Reduce the paperwork. Instead of forcing educators to provide evidence in all five areas which leads to a massive time suck and bloated paperwork, allow an educator to choose three of the five.

The last recommendation is the most important: If the Master Educator Premium is here to stay, convene a committee with the bulk made up of actual educators who both submitted the portfolio and those that did not to continue a dialogue on how to better implement the MEP. Make sure the folks in the trenches form the majority of voices at the table.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your reply.

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