Illinois State Representative Christian Mitchell stayed long enough to voice support for edTPA before leaving the committee hearing.
Sandy Deines is a friend, colleague and retired high school teacher from Park Ridge who currently supervises student teachers.
She knows from first hand experience what damage edTPA is doing to the teaching profession.
Sandy went to Springfield yesterday to testify against edTPA as a member of the Illinois Coalition for edTPA Rule Change.
I spoke with her this morning and she told me she felt good about the hearing. More than a few people there told me that there was bi-partisan skepticism of edTPA from members of the committee. There were many pointed questions directed at the witness from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).
One prominent supporter of edTPA on the committee was 26th District Representative Christian Mitchell.
Mitchell stayed only long enough at the hearing to express his support for edTPA. He was not there to hear opposition witnesses.
Cassie Cresswell of More Than A Score, who also was
lobbying testifying in Springfield yesterday against edTPA, posted about Mitchell on her Facebook page, “Jay Travis’ opponent non-ironically quoted George W. Bush today at a House education committee hearing.”
If you needed another reason to vote for Jay Travis in the 26th District.
The Illinois Education Association supports edTPA and put a staffer up to testify. Sandy Deines said she spoke with IEA’s chief lobbyist, Jim Reed. When she asked him to explain the IEA’s support, Sandy said he smiled sheepishly and shrugged.
The Illinois Federation of Teachers opposes edTPA. Their lobbyists, I am told, were helpful in having the House committee hearing take place.
Everyone I spoke with expressed appreciation that there was a hearing.
It was Representative Guzzardi who zeroed in on the shrinking number of minority teachers and the negative impact edTPA is having on minority teachers entering the profession.
It was left to other organizations and social media to get the word out to teachers and parents. We were able to mobilize 300 witness slips opposing edTPA within 24 hours. Imagine if the IFT had joined in the effort.
Meanwhile, search the IEA website about edTPA. There is nothing. Since they support it, what are they afraid of? Earlier this year I went to Springfield to lobby for parental rights to opt out of PARCC testing and found myself on the opposite side of the IEA. Now this.
Someone needs to explain why the IEA is so consistently on the wrong side of ed reform issues.
What happens now?
State Representative Will Guzzardi, a critic of edTPA, says he would prefer that the ISBE make the changes themselves rather than have the legislature take any action.
He says there is talk of having the scoring take place in-house rather than outsourcing to profit-making Pearson.