To refresh your memory the state with little direction said many teachers now had to get a new reading endorsement which can be an arduous years long task, if they are going to work with certain students. Several teachers reached out to me and said this was overwhelming and there seemed to be little rhyme or reason to who had to take the classes so I reached out to Greene and the school board with their concerns.
First let me say I appreciate superintendent Greene for getting back to me, it can’t always be especially to someone who can be a critic, and it’s to her credit that she did.
That being said I think she may have missed the point a little.
This was her note, where she explains what the district has and is doing.
Dear Mr. Guerrieri,
Thank you for sharing feedback from our teachers regarding the reading endorsement requirement as outlined in HB 7055. As a point of clarification based on teacher feedback, HB 7055 requires endorsements for reading teachers instructing all K-12 students in need of Tier III intensive reading interventions. This feedback is valuable as the district prepares for implementation of this requirement effective July 1, 2020.
The Office of Professional Development has communicated the requirements of this ruling to teachers through a variety of communication tools and has provided information to school-based administrators to share with their teachers. Attached are supporting documents sent to teachers and administrators to use as a guide to make decisions regarding this requirement. We do recognize that some teachers are just learning about this requirement, and others have just recently been put in a classroom situation that would require the Reading Endorsement. The addition of face-to-face Q&A sessions regarding the reading endorsement may have alleviated some of the concerns regarding access to courses and the length of time to complete the required coursework. Our professional development team has worked diligently to open new online classes as the existing classes fill up, and will continue to do so to meet the state deadline.
I am pleased to share that the district continues to be reflective of this demand on teachers who provide instruction to students in need of Tier III reading interventions. Although teachers of other content areas are welcome to become reading endorsed, it is not a requirement as outlined in HB7055. Enhancements made to the Winter 2020 Reading Endorsement course of study include a reduced number of assignments, extended time to better understand the navigation of the course, and increased communication regarding enrollment updates.
In addition, the PD department is currently piloting a course rollout combining Reading Competencies 1 and 2; and 3 and 4. Each combined course is 10 weeks in length. For the 2020-21 school year, the district will offer additional competency combination courses, as described above, for teachers who need to take all or nearly all of the reading endorsement coursework. We are currently piloting this modified course delivery model at two sites with 106 participants. The district currently employs 17 part-time reading endorsement facilitators. This allows for an increase in offering Face-to-Face and Online courses to maximize access for teachers who need to obtain or maintain high quality status.
Teachers with additional questions or concerns should contact Endorsement Specialist, C. Renee Jackson, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Professional Development Supervisor, Altina Fenelon-Silva, email@example.com. They understand this is a priority and are eager to assist teachers.
I hope this helps some, and again I appreciate that she wrote back but I think she missed a very important piece and that’s teachers are already feeling overwhelmed and this isn’t helpong, so I wrote her back and made some suggestions.
Thank you for getting back to me. I will put this information out there on the blog Education Matters in case some of the readers are unaware.
I think where this may address several concerns it does not address them all. Another complaint perhaps the biggest was teachers already had to much on their plate and this just added even more causing further stress and frustration.
Let me suggest a TDE day for everyone taking a course each course and an alleviation of responsibilities during common planning and early release days. If the goal of those two things is to provide extra professional development, surely the classes can fill that function. I just want to remind you the better things are for teachers the better they will be for students.
Thank You again
Friends what some people, especially people not doing the actual work don’t seem to get, is we can’t continue to bury teachers, marginalize teachers and over work teachers and not expect something to give. The district hiring extra trainers for reading is good, giving teachers the time to do the work is much, much better.