Last week the Department of Education announced that they were able to hire only 24 reading coaches, just shy of a third of the 75 budget positions for the pilot program.
You’ll forgive my cynicism, but I find the line coming out of the Mississippi Department of Education hard to believe.
Interim state superintendent Dr. Lynn House told The Associated Press that several factors led to the state not being able to hire more reading coaches, but the main reason was that those 24 were the only ones who met the qualifications.
After reading the qualifications, I find that pretty hard to believe. Mississippi has 2,381 Board Certified Teachers, the highest level of teaching accreditation in the country and a program in which Mississippi has been a national leader since the program’s inception.
While Mississippi has not done everything right with public education, we do have some of the best training opportunities in the country, and we have a core group of teachers who take advantage of those opportunities.
If the state department can’t find 75 teachers qualified to be reading coaches, it says more about the state’s failure to properly train English and literature teachers than anything.
But, I firmly believe this is not the case. This smells like a political power play. MDE has historically resisted legislative or gubernatorial interference in educational matters. In many cases, they have been correct to do so. In this one, they are not
- #Rewind: One year ago today. (mississippipep.wordpress.com)
- Gap in MAEP funding may be less in 2015. (mississippipep.wordpress.com)
- Teach For America continues to fill need in Mississippi. (mississippipep.wordpress.com)