Last night, the Professional Standards Board, a committee that looks at regulatory matters with educators in Delaware, had their monthly meeting. Part of this meeting had presentations on two possible new school leadership programs. The first was by Teach For America and a program called Lead For Delaware. The second was presented by two educators from Sussex County, a program called Flex (Fostering Leadership Excellence). This is for pending Regulation #1595- Certification Program for Leaders in Education.
In the past, programs brought forth by Teach For America (TFA) were usually accepted right off the bat with very little argument against it. Last night this changed dramatically as the Chair of the Professional Standards Board (PSB), Byron Murphy, lambasted Teach For America for their arrogance and slamming of career teachers, as well as their tendency to use teaching as a stepping stone. Byron Murphy also came down hard on the individual who presented the program, Jeremy Grant-Skinner, who is also the Senior Managing Director of this TFA program. Murphy claimed Grant-Skinner had absolutely no school leadership experience. When it came time for a motion by the board to vote on the program, not one single member of the Professional Standards Board would enter a motion.
As a result, the Executive Director of the PSB, Chris Kenton, immediately went on to the next presentation and the educators from Sussex presented their FLEX program, and afterwards, the board approved it unanimously. This is a tidal wave in Delaware of huge proportions. It used to be a given that any TFA program would be approved, but last night’s decision is showing that perhaps Delaware’s love affair with TFA is coming to an end. It was widely assumed by the DOE this TFA program would be approved by the PSB, and even TFA’s Executive Director Laurissa Schutt did not attend the meeting. The Delaware DOE will NOT be happy about this decision.
*This article has been corrected. Chris Kenton did NOT leave the meeting after the first presentation and stayed until the end. My apologies to Mr. Kenton.
Below are the presentations from the PSB meeting last night. The first two are the TFA project, and the last is the FLEX from the Sussex educators.