Saturday, September 29, 2012

Uncertified, inexperienced teacher is state director of teacher evaluations

Hot on the heels of the revelation that the State Department of Education has employed a $12,000 per month spin doctor, another report has surfaced about a questionable hire by Superintendent of Education John White.


This time, focus has landed on the department’s 27-year old director of the new state teacher evaluation program.

According to Baton Rouge Advocate reporter Will Sentell, Molly Horstman spent two years in a New Orleans classroom as a Teach for America volunteer before being drafted into the State Recovery School District in New Orleans as an administrator.

She’s following in the footsteps of several other TFT alums, including the former and current executive director of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. It appears that replacing seasoned DOE veterans with young TFAers has become a hallmark of the Jindal and White administration.

According to some reports, Horstman – who did not teach in Louisiana ling enough to even earn tenure – did not pass the PRAXIS exam, which is required for teachers to earn certification in Louisiana. Her ACT scores were accepted instead.

In Sentell’s article, Horstman admits that she allowed her Louisiana teaching certificate to lapse, saying “My job does not require that I go into the classroom to teach right now.”

In short: the person in charge of the state teacher evaluation program is a 27-year old, non-certified, two-year veteran teacher who did not pass PRAXIS and will earn $77,000 per year.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't even know what to say about this!!! Shocked...or am I????

Jennifer Kelly said...

How exactly does this happen? How can someone that can't even make the MINIMUM on a MINIMUM standards test be in charge of MY evaluation?????? Making more than I do a year as a National Board Certified teacher with 15 years experience?????

Anonymous said...

Why did she get this position? Is she related to someone who makes these choices or worse, messing around? If this is true then someone should start asking some questions. Who else applied?

Annette Tolbert said...

Of all the highly qualified teaching professionals in this state, how in the world did Ms. Horstman qualify for and then get this job? And, as importantly, where are our legislators, local politicians and school board members, parents, investigative reporters (besides you Mr. Sentell - thank you so much!) while all this is going on? There is little or nothing being reported on our local TV stations or other media outlets. The average person/parent/guardian knows nothing of this. In addition to the state and local "upper echelon", they should be interviewing those of us in the trenches, and in particular, our MANY HIGHLY QUALIFIED & EFFECTIVE teachers who, prior to Gov. Jindal's and Superintendent White's nightmarish efforts and whiplash legislation, have not only gone above and beyond in educating our students, but also have tremendous ideas to offer to those who NEVER enter a classroom and haven't in a VERY LONG TIME. Gentlemen, you need a tremendous REALITY CHECK if indeed you CARE ABOUT EDUCATION and WANT THE VERY BEST FOR OUR CHILDREN. To the media: with all that is at stake, with all that is going on, with the education of our children and the state's future at stake, this situation should be a major lead story at least several times a week until it is resolved. Delve into this on more than just a superficial or one-dimensional level. Go beyond the press releases for the real story. Get rid of some of the fluff and give education in this state the attention it deserves.

Annette Yeates Tolbert
Currently a fifteen-year Caddo Parish secondary high school teacher in Career & Technical Education, a former adjunct university teacher, and, prior to teaching full time, a twenty five-year professional in my career area

Annette Tolbert said...

Of all the highly qualified teaching professionals in this state, how in the world did Ms. Horstman qualify for and then get this job? And, as importantly, where are our legislators, local politicians and school board members, parents, investigative reporters (besides you Mr. Sentell - thank you so much!) while all this is going on? There is little or nothing being reported on our local TV stations or other media outlets. The average person/parent/guardian knows nothing of this. In addition to the state and local "upper echelon", they should be interviewing those of us in the trenches, and in particular, our MANY HIGHLY QUALIFIED & EFFECTIVE teachers who, prior to Gov. Jindal's and Superintendent White's nightmarish efforts and whiplash legislation, have not only gone above and beyond in educating our students, but also have tremendous ideas to offer to those who NEVER enter a classroom and haven't in a VERY LONG TIME. Gentlemen, you need a tremendous REALITY CHECK if indeed you CARE ABOUT EDUCATION and WANT THE VERY BEST FOR OUR CHILDREN. To the media: with all that is at stake, with all that is going on, with the education of our children and the state's future at stake, this situation should be a major lead story at least several times a week until it is resolved. Delve into this on more than just a superficial or one-dimensional level. Go beyond the press releases for the real story. Get rid of some of the fluff and give education in this state the attention it deserves.

Annette Yeates Tolbert
Currently a fifteen-year Caddo Parish secondary high school teacher in Career & Technical Education, a former adjunct university teacher, and, prior to teaching full time, a twenty five-year professional in my career area