"The District staff said, on several occasions, that the Teach for America corps members will only be in the Phase III hiring pool. They won't be in Phase I or Phase II.
No. They won't. But not because of the contract and not because the District won't allow them into the Phase I and Phase II pool, but because there won't be a Phase I or a Phase II hiring period at any of the schools where they want to teach.
One of the elements of the District's Performance Management System dictates that Level 1 and Level 2 schools - those which are under-performing - will go straight to Phase III hiring.
Let's remember that Teach for America corps members are only interested in working in low-income communities, which are the schools south of I-90 and the schools in the far north. These are also the schools which are in Level 1 or Level 2 for Performance Management.
So there won't be two rounds of internal hiring that come before the Teach for America corps members can enter the candidate pool. They will be among the first to apply and be considered for those jobs."
Here's a few other updates:
TFA jumped a big hurdle getting SPS. BUT, they still don't have everything they need to get here. How close they are, I don't know. I suspect fairly close but they need to get it done by Jan. 2011. These other factors:
- TFA still needs to get an agreement with at least one more district. (It was interesting because a former TFAer who is now the assistant super for Edmonds testified and said he wished he could bring them there. I'm thinking it's the money that holds people back. Just to note the national average that TFA charges per teacher is $1500; Seattle is paying $4k and Federal Way, $3k.)
- They need to place at least 50 more corps members in other schools districts. Their goal is something like 150 TFAers throughout the Puget Sound area.
- They need a university partner to certify the recruits. So who might they get? Well, UW's Dean of Ed is a former TFAer but that might look like a conflict of interest. (I will find out who he reports to and we can send e-mails strongly opposing UW's "adoption" of TFA.) Seattle University has a College of Education; I can't seem them supporting TFA. University Center of North Puget Sound sponsors WWU's education program so probably not them as well. St. Martin's also has a teaching program. Maybe University of Puget Sound? Who else?
- They need to raise almost $1M. The Seattle Foundation says they need $5.2M in private sector funding. The report in the Seattle Times says they have raised about $4.1M from Seattle Foundation, Gates, Raikes Foundation and Bezos Foundation.
What is interesting is that TFA and the Board were touting that they bring diversity, using stats on their last national pool of applicants. That's great but there is NO guarantee that the national pool will reflect who applies here. They don't start recruiting until January for Seattle-area positions but I'm sure this will be a more popular place than Detroit or the Bronx (in terms of the work, not the place).
I may have missed pointing out that SPS teacher Matt Carter spoke at the Board meeting against TFA. It was pretty funny because he was using the NCTQ report. He said first, he did not like being referred to as "human capital". Two, he quoted a relevant section of the report that said the district should minimize hiring first year teachers as they are the least effective.
Yet another good example of the cherry-picking that goes on in this district.