The following is taking from the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA) Legislative Update for today. By the way, this is a great resource for information on what’s happening in education in the state of Washington and daily updates are provided.
The comments in italics are mine.
2SHB 1593 – would create an alternative route to principal certification. Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (who seems to be pushing corporate reform big-time) offered several amendments, including making mentoring required for at least one full school year (rather than six months) and that provisional certificate holders would demonstrate some progress toward completing an alternative route program to maintain their certificate. (Weak at best but Santos seems to be willing to do anything to see this bill pass. Hmmm, I wonder who will be financially backing her next campaign?) Committee chair Kathy Haigh, D-Shelton, voiced concerns but indicated she was willing to keep the bill moving (Why?)– although she would be a no vote. The bill passed 15-3, with Rep. Sells and Rep. Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, also voting no. (At least some folks saw this as a wacky way to hire principals. Don’t we have enough qualified staff and teachers to fill principal positions now?)
A similar bill, SB 5667, had a public hearing today in the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee. The bill had a mix of support and opposition, with school administrators, teachers and others speaking against the bill, and the (Broad and Gates backed) League of Education Voters , (ditto) Stand for Children and the Partnership for Learning (An organization made up of business folks who know sooo much about education with Norm Rice, President and CEO of the Seattle Foundation, on the Board of Directors) endorsing the concept. Since the bill failed to pass the policy committee by today’s deadline, it is considered “dead.” (Logic and common sense ruled the day at least with this committee). However, please remember that nothing is ever truly over until the gavels finally fall on the last day of session. (It would be a good idea to contact these representatives and thank them for using their critical thinking skills to save our schools from another reform-of-the-day wacky idea.)