ECE community concerns about Transitional Kindergarten and related changes to teacher qualification
While the opportunity to reform teacher requirements offers the possibility to make needed changes, many concerns about current proposals have been raised in ECESF and broader ECE community conversations.
ECESF community discussions have highlighted these concerns:
- Educational requirements are consistently put ahead of, or talked about separately from lack of funding for adequate compensation. ECESF sees the lack of funding as the cause of ongoing churn in the ECE workforce. Investments in professional development fly right out the door as teachers who have not inherited a home, worked in a high paid previous field so can fund their current work, are partnered with someone who can support them, or just so love the work that they stick it out without any certainty of what they’ll do if their hit with an emergency medical condition, let alone vacation or retirement. (All real life scenarios shared in community conversations about what allows you to teach.) Adequate compensation is the cornerstone of any educational investment—and must be central to any further planning for professional development and requirements
- Multiple-subject and “academic” focused requirements are being pushed down rather than an integrated care & learning practicum being pushed up. Educational pathways are centered on multiple-subject or other coursework inappropriate for 0-5, without significant options of unit-based professional development at child development sites, competency evaluations, or paid release time for ECE educators. The current depth of child development knowledge held by the ECE workforce will be less able to meet new requirements and lead with their child development expertise, an area where they have more practice.
- The Teacher Performance Expectations are Eurocentric and don’t address the needs of California’s diverse children and families. There is little expectation for linguistic and cultural representation among teachers, coaches and administrators.
- The ECE workforce is more racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse than K12, which should be valued and encouraged. A deeper examination needs to be made of what attracts and retains a diverse workforce, including pathways for professional development. Certainly advantaging the qualifications of educators currently holding multiple subject credentials will not maintain the current ECE workforce.
- Child care needs to be further integrated with education—not separated into a another system, whether CSPP or TK. Especially our youngest children explore and learn all day long—and need loving learning environments.
- Commission on teacher credentialing documentation promotes taking staff from CSPP, “Moving to full implementation of universal TK … it would be appropriate to draw from the ranks of Child Development Permit (CDP) holders who are currently teaching 4-year-olds in the California State Preschool Program (CSPP).” without recognizing the destabilization this will cause in light of the inadequate funding for compensation across sectors. Quality ECE, inclusive of TK, PreK, and 0-3 ECE requires a stable workforce across all sectors, and cannot be built with one area being able to draw the workforce from another. While we want the expertise of the current child development workforce recognized—we do not want this at the expense of current programming insufficiently funded to pay higher wages.
- Solutions to early care and education are too often focused on fixing the workforce rather than fixing the funding problem. Changing the qualification expectations is not the solution to lead with. Fixing the funding problem will allow for the growth of relationship-based learning communities with embedded reflective practice and mentors at sites, as well as internal supports for higher education attainment (paid release time during the working day, reduced hours, paid apprenticeships).
Teaching Performance Expectations
A series of focus group sessions were held in early March 2022, facilitated by Glenn Price, on the proposed requirements for the CTC PK-3 Specialist Credential Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs)
Focus group session slides are available.
Community ECE dialogue with SFUSD EED
December 8, 2021
The San Francisco Early Care & Education Advocacy Coalition (SF ECE Advocacy Coalition) invited San Francisco Unified School District’s Early Education Department (SFUSD EED) to join with community-based early care educators to discuss the expansion of the Transitional Kindergarten in San Francisco. The SFUSD EED staff included, Meeno Yashar, Chief of Early Education, Marieke Rutkin, Director of Systems and Operations, Early Education Department, Pamela Geisler, Director of Fiscal and Data, Early Education Department, Jennifer Delos Reyes, Executive Director of Program Quality & Enhancements, Early Education Department, and Raul Erazo-Chavez, Executive Director of Schools and Programs, Early Education Department. Sara Hicks-Kilday, ECESF, and Naeemah Charles, Children’s Council, facilitated the event.
In preparation for today’s conversation SF ECE Advocacy Coalition and ECESF collected questions from the community that will shape today’s dialogue. They fell into four main areas.
- Planning & Implementing Transitional Kindergarten
- Transitional Kindergarten that fits family need
- SFUSD Capacity: Teaching Workforce, Facilities, & Program Structure
- Maintain, Stabilize, and Synthesize Current 0-5 ECE Systems
The full set of questions are available here.
About the San Francisco Early Care & Education Advocacy Coalition
SF ECE Advocacy’s purpose is to build campaigns for a sustainable ECE4All, with families, children, and educators of 0-5 year olds as primary constituents—who “get” that great working conditions are necessary for great care & education—so frame advocacy with this lens.
The coalition came out of work as an AdHoc coalition to pass Prop C, then Prop F, and the realization, as fantastic as the Prop C victory was, the estimated $120M annually is not yet enough to build universal ECE with the support needed for great working conditions, and family & child supports. Children’s Council & ECESF agreed to come together to build an ongoing coalition focused on this goal.
See the SF ECE Advocacy Coalition Charter, still in draft form.