(Thanks to all who posted links or wrote to me.)
From the blog, The Art of Teaching Science:
It was revealed that Kumar met with three influential Cobb citizens, including Shan Cooper (general manager of Lockheed Martin Marietta), Barry Teague (executive developer Walton Communities), and Sam Olens (Georgia’s State Attorney General), all of whom agreed to find ways of funding the effort.
Went to business folk up the food chain to find money. Check. From The Marietta Daily Journal:
Still, the agenda item for the issue emphatically stated: “Funds have been raised in the community to offset these expenses so there will be no additional costs to the District,” prompting the question of whether Hinojosa misled his board or at least overstated the financing facts.
Saying it wouldn't cost the district any money? Check.
It was assumed by TFA and the superintendent that the deal would be approved by the school board, but the board was unaware of any of the negotiations, or how the contract would be funded.
Superintendent thinking that the Board would do his bidding. Check.
As superintendent of the Dallas ISD, Dr. Hinojasa was an advocate for TFA, and indeed, TFA has a big presence in Dallas.
Superintendent who liked TFA in one job and brought it to the next place? Check
Well, we will have to see if Dr. Enfield gets/takes the job in Bellevue or Highline but I hope those School Boards know it's coming.
But Dr. Hinojosa really has the Broad nerve:
The Open Records documents also show that the district and TFA had jointly applied for a Race to the Top grant from the state worth $350,000 per year for three years, though they did not win the money. This is the second time in recent months the district has applied for Race to the Top money with a private partner, even though the board itself never discussed, let alone voted on, whether to seek some of the federal money for its own use.
That this pattern of action between some superintendents and TFA has occurred in place after place in the country leads to believe TFA wants to get itself into as many districts as possible in any way possible. It's more than a little unseemly. AND that locals go along with their shenanigans is troubling.
More e-mails from within SPS that discuss TFA issues show a couple of things quite clearly:
A lot of extra work done in HR because they had to figure out who was TFA (and finally asked them to disclose this in their applications) and they had to let TFA know that SPS would NOT be hiring any Special Ed TFAs because they were not qualified.
- Extra work from other staff including principals and Executive Directors who had to attend at least one meeting dedicating to explaining TFA to them. TFA also asked senior staff for a meeting for TFA recruits and for someone to speak about SPS. This during summer vacation and the request was for the meeting in the next couple of days. Who does this?
- Finally, the district had to hire a sub to babysit one TFA recruit in the classroom because the TFAer didn't even have an emergency sub certificate. From the e-mail:
Again, there should ALWAYS be a cost-to-benefit formula applied. I would say with the low numbers of TFA hired by our site-based hiring teams, the extra costs (that Peter Maier said over and over would not materialize) and that some of them weren't even qualified (the jury is still out on the qualifications for yet-another recruit), why are we bothering with TFA?
I'll end with what one district senior staff member said in an e-mail last September:
"TFA is just the gift that keeps on givin', isn't it?"
Indeed it is. Enough.