TFA Seems to be Limping into Town (And Hey, Where did the Fee Money Go?)
From the article:
Tuesday's announcement was made on the same day Teach For America sent out its third round of acceptances for the 2011-12 school year. Twelve people learned that they will be placed in the Seattle area, Ortega said, and she expects to add another 23 later.
The program placed 100 percent of its recruits last year, and expects to be able to do the same this year.That's a lot of confidence given they only have a guarantee for 4 from Federal Way. Hmm, makes you wonder if the fix is in.
What is also a big question mark is this (bold mine):
This fall, Seattle Public Schools agreed to consider taking 20-25 more, although it offered nothing more than the chance to interview for open positions. It also won't hire any Teach For America recruits unless it finds outside funding to cover the required district contribution — now about $4,000 per teacher.
What happened to the Gates Foundation paying the $4k per teacher? If that's not a done deal, SPS has NO business hiring any new teacher who costs the district an extra $4k. No bright-faced college grad is worth that in hard economic times with many other unemployed qualified teachers in our region. Again, why are we importing more workers to this region?
I like CAO Enfield's comment:
What's particularly exciting, she said, is that all Teach For America recruits are strongly committed to closing the achievement gap among ethnic groups.
"I'm not saying that only Teach For America candidates have that," she said, "but you know that these people are coming from that space."
And what are the other "space" are teachers in the already large teaching pool coming from? I'll have to ask Dr. Enfield.
And that raises a good point. TFA likes to say how much principals like the recruits and how they have shown, in some cases, to do well. One thing they can't say - that they helped closed the achievement gap in a single school in the U.S.
Also from the article:
Still, some area school districts have said no, including Highline. Superintendent John Welch said that's largely because he doesn't expect to hire many teachers this year, and may have to lay off some.
"It didn't seem to be the right time to be partnering with Teach For America in a recruiting strategy," he said.
The article also states that TFA is "close" to announcing which local university will be its partner.