Update: It seems the Seattle Foundation gave TFA $80k in December 2010 to "support general operating expenses of the Seattle program." Their other generous donations cover a wide range of Puget Sound programs (including intervention programs in Renton, Northshore and Highline schools). Interesting that they want to help support a non-local program that doesn't even exist here yet.
As I previously reported, I had this back and forth with Washington STEM over their funding of TFA. At one point, they had brought in the TFA regional director who told me that they are trying to get recruits with science and math backgrounds. Clearly, there is no way for them to guarantee who will come but she said 10 recruits with math/science degrees had indicated Puget Sound as their first choice.
Now I see at the Washington STEM site this information (which appears to be new):
Washington STEM’s investment in Teach For America will fund TFA corps members holding STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degrees after they have been voluntarily hired by the Puget Sound partner districts to teach math and science secondary level courses or into elementary school positions. Washington STEM funds will be used exclusively for pre-service certification, professional development and other ongoing support for those incoming Teach For America STEM corps members. The $475,000 Washington STEM TFA investment is intended to be distributed over the next three years and makes available up to $125,000 in the first year, $150,000 in the second and $200,000 in the third. and is contingent upon corps members hired specifically to teach science and math secondary level courses or into elementary positions, If none of the TFA STEM corps members are hired specifically to teach math and science secondary level courses or into elementary positions, then Washington STEM funds will not be disbursed to TFA.
TFA wants to bring in about 20 teachers to SPS. They say 10 recruits to the Puget Sound area have a math/science background. Okay say 9 come and SPS gets 7 and Federal Way gets 2. Great.
Okay, I'll bite. If Washington STEM is only funding those TFA recruits with a STEM degree AND who have been hired to teach math/science at secondary schools or into elementary schools, who is paying for the non-STEM TFA recruits?
Very strange. I'll have to query the Board on what is up with this but I get the feeling there is some kind of trying to fly under the radar here.
Also, TFA finally has a dot on their regional map for Seattle and here's what they say:
As a member of a charter corps, you will play an important part in shaping Teach For America’s role and reception in the Seattle & Tacoma area and impact the direction and scope of the local movement for educational excellence.
"Role and reception" - Does that mean be on your fresh-faced best behavior?
"Direction and scope of the local movement for educational excellence" - what and who are they talking about?
Lastly, I have been trying, for months, to meet with Tom Stritikus, dean of the College of Education at UW, to ask him about UW being the sponsoring educational entity. I have been repeatedly put off. I was also told at one point that yes, UW was the sponsoring entity, and then told, no a decision has not been made.
I have a hard time understanding how a college of education supports a group that says they do as well with training teachers in 5 weeks as the college does in a couple of years. It is all very curious.