Thursday, May 17, 2007

Query on qualifications for cluster positions

Are there any special requirements for the elementary school science cluster? Or is it true there is no elem science license and that a common branch license is all that is needed?

What does it mean if a teacher is not considered "highly qualified" for the school report card & NCLB? Can the principal use this as a reason not to give a teacher 1 of the choices on a preference sheet or not give them a cluster position that they have had? Is being "highly qualified" equally important for a cluster and classroom teacher?


  1. From HS CL:

    Don’t know about elementary schools. But, we have business ed teachers still appointed under the steno license and are deemed “less than highly qualified” because of the way the BEDs survey is done for the school. Since most of these teachers have NY State Business Ed licenses, I have asked for back-dated appointments for these teacher to that license instead so they don’t have to go through a probationary period for courses they have been teaching for years. They will no longer be deemed “less than highly qualified”. The principal has passed the request along to legal, even though she has the discretion to do it herself (according to Ann Rosen at the UFT).

    If this teacher has another, appropriate, certification perhaps should petition for the same.

  2. Elem CL:
    Elementary Science Cluster positions are common branches licensed teachers. There are no special licenses for that subject, yet. The principal and Chapter Leader should agree on the qualifications for the position before it is posted. They may want experience, courses, etc.

  3. Elem CL:
    There is no elem. science license, although a principal, in consultation with the chapter committee, may include a requirement of x number of credits in science as one of the qualifications in the posting. The only license required would be C.B. (or, possibly, early childhood).

    I would doubt that a requirement of NCLB "highly qualified" would pass muster--our contract does not reference NCLB in any way.

  4. Elem CL:
    There is no elementary school Science license.

    First of all, cluster positions are not owned by anyone, everyone has to apply every year. Secondly, the positions are postings which the chapter leader is suppose to read before they are posted. This is when the chapter leader can argue "highly qualified" since everyone are equally qualified since everyone in the building is basically an elementary school teacher. (exceptions: licensed Phys.. Ed., licensed Art, and possibly licensed technology.)
    There is no such thing as "highly qualified." Anyone who is a New York State Common Branch license is just as qualified as anyone else in an elementary school. Anyone working under a science license in an elementary school needs their head examined. High School teachers are programed to teach only five periods a day, whereas an elementary teacher in an 8 period day school has to teach 6 of those periods everyday. Also, the high school teachers get a change of program in February, whereas, the elementary teacher has the same kids from Sept. through June.


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