So I think I have figured out (and some of you probably as well) why TFA is so damn sure they'll be putting their recruits into SPS. That Wendy Kopp doesn't even try to demur should tell you something. (Janis Ortega, the regional TFA director, does the same thing in her e-mails to the Dean of the UW's College of Education. Funny, he never asks her why she's so sure.)
They are sure because I would bet money that the district has a quiet agreement (beyond the contract) about TFA. Here's how it will work:
As many of you have point out, there are many schools (not just a couple) that the district projects as under-enrolled. One of them is Garfield which, as we all know, is a laughable thought. You couple this year's enrollment figures, look at historic neighborhood enrollment (you can extract that information from our previous choice assignment plan) AND the sky-is-falling capacity management projections and you KNOW there will be very few under-enrolled schools.
But, if the district has a significant number of schools with projected under-enrollment, then they RIF at those schools.
Come the first day of school, masses of students show up. Whoops! Oh my gosh, look at all those kids who need a teacher!
Well, the first people they call are from within the district including the RIFs. But the district knows by the first day of school few teachers either want to move from schools they are assigned to and few RIFed teachers will be available because they have moved on.
Who is left to plug the holes? TFA recruits.
Works out well, no?
And, of course, then about in October, you know, right before the general election, Gates or someone suddenly gives a great gift or grant to the district and boy, do those incumbents shine. I believe it's called a quid pro quo and yes, I absolutely believe it's going to happen.
See, it would be one thing if the School Board, said, look, we won't promise TFA any jobs but they can interview and let the principals decide. But that wouldn't have been good enough for TFA. So there has to be some way to make sure it happens. Well, if the district is going out of its way to make sure TFA comes in, I'm sure they want something back.
So we need to call the Board on this RIGHT NOW. Again, ask them - why are SO many schools projected as under-enrolled?
Now, onto the UW and its College of Education which seems to have some real problems brewing.
As one commenter said, it is true that out of nowhere (because there was no hint of it at last Wednesday's meeting with grad students), the Dean has decided that there will be summer courses to allow their grad students to be done in time so they can be eligible to apply for any open Puget Sound teaching jobs in September. Just like that.
Smell that? That's the whiff of someone getting a little desperate. I do believe that the Dean has had his cage rattled and he realized that he can't just steamroll the grad students and the faculty.
TFA always expects something. Always. They act like they are doing someone a big favor and therefore, want something in return. If they can get someone else to pay for stuff, they will.
So what that means for example at UW is maybe these perks for TFA and only TFA students:
- "negotiated" tuition rates
- deferred billing
- stipends to cover their in-school classroom expenses
Do you think it fair for TFA recruits to get these benefits that UW College of Education grads don't get? That regular UW undergrads don't get? In these hard fiscal times, when UW is admitting fewer in-state students, TFA is importing mostly out-of-state students who get special breaks on tuition? Do you know how many first-year teachers would love for someone to give them money for classroom needs?
But TFA, sure.
Those of you with high school students, is this fair for your child who might want to go to UW?
(I'll wrap up with one last part on next steps and why I don't "hate" TFA.)