The House Education Committee in Delaware is having a meeting going over some of the education bills introduced in the 148th General Assembly this year. First up is Senate Bill #10:
This Act makes technical changes to the Delaware Performance Appraisal System (DPAS) II Advisory Committee membership and meeting dates. Additionally, this Act clarifies language regarding the Committee’s duties in order to better provide advice to the Secretary of the Department of Education and the State Board of Education in the promulgation of regulations relating to DPAS II.
Senator David Sokola introduced the bill to the Education Committee. The purpose of the bill is not to change the program but to add an additional five years due to the sunset period ending this year. State Rep. Miro asked about pay scales. Executive Director of TFA Delaware Laurissa Schutt took the podium and said teachers are relatively paid the same. State Rep. Edward Osienski asked about oversight. It was revealed TFA will be writing their own report on this. State Rep. Kim Williams is asking about retention rates for TFA employees in Delaware schools. She asked Schutt about changing the timeframe for teachers to stay from the 2 year program to a 4 year program. Schutt could not commit to that. State Rep. John Kowalko said he wants the bill extended to 2016 and not 2020. He feels the TEMBO report commissioned by the Delaware DOE is very biased. He doesn’t feel TFA should be writing their own reports for the state.
Howard High School Principal said they started with nine TFAers, and still have four that have stayed on. Heath Chasanov, Superintendent of Woodbridge, spoke in support of the bill and TFA. He is also speaking for Susan Bunting, Superintendent of Idnian River in support of the bill. Donald Blakey, Super for Colonial, is also praising TFA and the bill. Donna Johnson, State Board of Education, said she is happy with the collaboration between TFA and Professional Development of all teachers. They look forward to working with the Professional Standards Board on Regulation 1507.
Kim Williams asked for more clarity on the reporting from the DOE on where the members are. There needs to be more accuracy with reporting. State Rep. Mike Ramone said one great employee from TFA can bring the whole quality of teachers up at a school. Schutt said Brandywine and Newcastle County Vo-Tech want to work with them on teacher-mentoring program. She said “We are never going to take over anything. We have 22 teachers, and we will never reach that unless we have that deep collaborative level.”
Watching the crowd, State Rep. Deb Heffernan is very interested in the comments and questions during this topic. Rep. Miro just said he doesn’t trust any report that comes from the Delaware DOE.
Senate Bill #10 passed the House Education Committee with 1 no vote.