Trolling the charters for 'master educators'
While some charter school officials are concerned that the lucrative new teachers contract will trigger an exodus of talent, DCPS is recruiting aggressively right now from its charter neighbors. That includes enlisting instructors to serve as so-called "master educators" to evaluate public school teachers under the new IMPACT system. DCPS plans to expand its corps of about three dozen master educators with 10 new hires.
Here's a recent pitch from program coordinator Kathy Choi to a teacher at KIPP DC: AIM Academy:
From: Choi, Kathy (DCPS-OOC) [Kathy.Choi@dc.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 1:23 PM
Subject: Interest in the DCPS Master Educator Position
I hope this message finds you well. My name is Kathy Choi, and I am one of the Program Coordinators for the Master Educator Program here at DC Public Schools. As a teacher at KIPP DC AIM, we know that you go above and beyond to serve your students. You have first-hand experience educating our nation's most vulnerable students, and you share with our school district the belief that every child can learn. So I'd like to start by thanking you for the job you've done - I know it takes a great deal of hard work to be an excellent educator.
I wanted to take a moment to tell you about the Master Educator role, a new position that was launched in fall 2009 by the team here at DC Public Schools. Chancellor Michelle Rhee and the team at DC Public Schools are working to fundamentally transform the schools in our nation's capital by building the strongest, most highly effective corps of teachers in the country. A world-class teacher evaluation system is critical in ensuring that every child is taught by an excellent teacher, and we believe that our new teacher performance management system - IMPACT - will do just that.
We're looking for outstanding educators with at least five years of experience in low-income schools to serve as Master Educators - third-party experts who will observe and evaluate educators and provide them with targeted support in a subject/content area. You can find the full position description and application on our site: http://dcps.dc.gov/DCPS/mastereducators.
I would highly encourage you to consider applying for the position. Your success in the classroom suggests that you would make a very strong candidate, and we would be eager to consider your application. If you would like to chat further about the role, I would be more than happy to. You can reach me via email.
I would also like to enlist your help in recommending other individuals and colleagues who you think might be a good fit for the position. Master Educators come from a variety of backgrounds - straight from the classroom, the policy world, or an administrative role. We are looking at excellent educators not only in DC but throughout the country, as we are engaging in a national recruitment effort. I would love to follow up with anyone who comes to mind.
Thank you again for your commitment to your students and to the mission of providing every child with an excellent education. I look forward to hearing from you.
DCPS spokeswoman Jennifer Calloway said in an e-mail that personnel rules prevent her from revealing how many KIPP applications the school system has in hand. She added: "We feel it's our responsibility to be aggressive and seek out the best on behalf of our students, and to that end we have approached educators from across the country --including Philadelphia, Baltimore, Montgomery County, local charter schools, Boston and Fairfax."
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