Well, that didn't take long. In today's Times, there is a story by Rosenthal about TFA that has the unmistakable stamp of the Times and their support of ed reform.
Much was left out. There's a lot that he could have fleshed out by asking parents or teachers or yes, even bloggers. He did not print any reactions/comments even if had them.
He has a whole "activists' reaction and yet does not quote one single activist. In fact the ONLY non-TFA supporter he does quote is Betty Patu. The only parent he quotes is Lauren McGuire.
This article does nothing but support TFA.
They have a "facts" area about TFA but leave out the crucial detail that districts have to pay EXTRA to have TFA teachers. I'm pretty sure that most voters (and taxpayers) would have been interested in that detail. He also does not mention how the Puget Sound region has hundreds of unemployed, full-qualified teachers.
From the article:
Earlier this week, three Seattle School Board members introduced a motion to sever the district's fledgling partnership with TFA. And while the move is almost certain to fail due to swing vote Kay Smith-Blum and three other members, it illustrates how tumultuous the year has been for TFA, a group that is accustomed to opposition but has never before seen as much of it as in Seattle.
The blowback has come from traditionalists, teachers unions and their supporters, who worry about the inexperienced recruits taking positions from longtime educators.
Are we supposed to feel for TFA because they have been challenged?
And what are "traditionalists"? You mean parents? And those named in that paragraph are the only people who oppose TFA? It is not and Brian knows it.
Here's an interesting statement and one that doesn't surprise me at all:
Principals who supervise the Seattle TFA teachers declined to let reporters visit those classrooms or even talk to the teachers, citing their need to focus on teaching.
Yes, and I warned Brian that he won't be able to talk to any TFA teacher without a TFA handler. They just won't let it happen. You have to wonder why they need to control the message and the visuals so much.
TFA supporters say young people like Keller are great assets for diverse schools but would otherwise not end up in the classroom because of their inability or unwillingness to go through an expensive, multiyear teacher-certification process.
Unwillingness? You mean because they don't intend to stay teachers so why bother with a long (and important) training?
There a line in there about requesting public disclosure documents. Lisa MacFarlene of DFER, who spoke at the Board meeting in favor of TFA, said that people who were doing that were wasting the district's time.
Really? So there was nothing disturbing or troubling in all those TFA e-mails? We have public disclosure laws precisely to make sure that the public can make sure that our tax dollars are being used wisely and with professionalism by public employees. Between myself and Chris Jackins, we have found many issues via public disclosure that otherwise would not have been found out.
Then we come to a rather disturbing piece of the article. It claims a burglary may have occurred because an address was in a public disclosure document. This is the first I have heard of this and this is key because of what came before.
SEA's Jonathan Knapp came to me, months ago, asking that a comment that contained a link to a public disclosure document with personal information about one TFA person be taken out.
My first reaction was, why isn't the teacher calling me? Isn't this person an adult? He demurred. I told him I knew that the links were from public disclosure documents (meaning the public agency said they were okay to release) and I had not checked all of them. (That there is a state that doesn't redact its documents for personal information is worrisome.) Because there are hundreds of comments, I asked him to tell me which thread and which comment.
He never got back to me. I also never heard from anyone at TFA, not the teacher or nor anyone in leadership.
Then, at the Board meeting Wednesday, the head of TFA in our region, got up and spoke for TFA and mentioned this issue (but not the burglary). I immediately fired off an e-mail and told her the story. I again said, if anyone wants it deleted, please tell me the thread and the comment and I would. Again, no answer.
If TFA had connected a comment with a link here with a burglary, you'd think we would have heard about it at the time. And yet this is the first I hear of it. Odd.
TFA says they are finalizing partnerships with other districts here. I'm glad other districts have the money for TFA teachers; it must mean that the cuts to the state education budget aren't that bad.
Very disappointing but not surprising.