The good news?
Apparently, Renton Superintendent, Mary Alice Heuschel decided not to present the question of hiring any TFA applicants before the Rendon School Board. Therefore, Renton School District won't be hiring any of TFA members for next fall.
The reason why comes from the Renton Reporter:
The Renton School District was considering using applicants from the
Teach for America program, but a higher influx of more qualified
applicants to open teaching positions has taken the idea off the table.
Randy Matheson, district spokesperson, confirmed Friday afternoon the
district's human resources department has received more applicants for
teaching positions than it thought it would originally receive.
And this was the case in Seattle. It is clear that Washington State has a huge number of unemployed but fully-qualified (and in some cases, experienced) teachers. We don't need TFA here in the Puget Sound region.
Here's what Superintendent Heuschel had to say:
"This is 'my' profession," Heuschel said in an email when the district
was still considering the program. "I am a fierce supporter and advocate
of our teachers. I have an unwavering commitment to supporting the
teaching profession, specifically with the Renton School District team
of caring, dedicated professionals."
This is, of course, a big blow to TFA. They have struggled to place their members in Seattle and Federal Way last year and had just 11 (and one in Federal Way left early on). That also leaves the UW program just for TFA severely underenrolled. And now, no hope in Renton. (Of course, they do have the hope that Dr. Enfield, in her new role in Highline, will bring her support of TFA to that district.)
The bad news? Trying to sneak it in to Renton.
Our friends at the Seattle Education blog
have more details:
The teachers received word the
Friday before the school board meeting
when this proposal would be presented by Superintendent Mary Alice
Heuschet. There was no notice of this besides a quick e-mail to a few
union representatives. The proposal would come up to the board and the
board would vote on it in the next public meeting.
meeting, four days later, teacher after teacher came forward to talk about their
profession (even pointing out that hairdressers have to get far more
training than TFA in order to get their certification).
I guess Renton doesn't believe in public engagement either on this issue. It almost looks like someone was trying to rush this through, hoping no one would hear about it until after the fact.
I'm glad the Superintendent there saw the light and their HR department got the volume of applications that it did.