Here's the latest on the D.C. contract news: Chancellor Michelle Rhee has said that she has a "Plan B" for instituting reforms to Washington's teacher-quality system if the tentative contract she's working on with the Washington Teachers' Union falls through (see previous posts and my story here for background.)
She wouldn't elaborate on what Plan B entails. But here's one possibility: the district has quietly been laying the foundation for changes to its licensing system.
According to a document from the office of the State Superintendent of Education, the district wants to institute a system that provides schools with more flexibility in hiring and placing teachers, and that would tie licensure to a teacher-effectiveness measure.
The proposed changes would replace D.C.'s "Standard" and "Professional" licenses with "Regular II" and "Advanced" licenses. Under the Regular II license, teachers would not have their teaching license authomatically renewed upon completion of credit hours and workshops, as is the case with the standard license. Instead, they would have to demonstrate efffectiveness or face nonrenewal.
Teachers holding an "Advanced" license would also have to demonstrate effectiveness or their license would revert back to a Regular II license.
The document doesn't detail the process a teacher would need to complete to demonstrate his or her effectiveness.
The proposal has to go through a public comment period. I'm betting the WTU will have concerns with the teacher-effectiveness proposal.