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If You Can Read this Kirwan Flowchart, Thank a Teacher

August 9, 2018

Today Natalia and I went to the Kirwan Commission’s Workgroup on High Quality Teachers and Leaders. We went because fellow BMORE Steering Committee member Keysha Goodwin sounded the alarm about 3 weeks ago when she came home from Annapolis and showed us a version of the career pathway ladder that Kirwan wants the state to adopt. Here’s a snapshot:


Parts of this are unclear and incomprehensible, but what is clear is alarming. Essentially, all teachers in Maryland beyond year 3 would be expected to be in the process of earning their Masters degree or National Board Certification. National Board Certification would be the gateway to two leadership tracks, one for master teachers and one for Administrators. Natalia and I left with so many questions. If you can understand what this is saying, let us know. If you, like us, have questions, add them in the comments. 


And let's be clear - we're not confused by this because we're low intellect individuals. We're confused because this is a set of bad ideas.


While confusion abounds, what WAS clear was that the workgroup didn’t consist of anyone who worked in schools or for a school system. Or anyone who wasn’t white. But it did include two people whose institutions stand to benefit from a higher reliance on universities. No teachers were asked to speak, but someone from ETS did, defending Praxis against the more rigorous licensing tests the state wants to go with. No one asked whether 8 years of career pathways in Baltimore City had created a teaching force more highly qualified than in areas of the state without pathways. How did we get here? How did we get to a set of solutions that wouldn’t even begin to fix the problem they’ve identified?




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