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Sunday, June 12, 2011

First it was the Broadies and Now It's the TFA Tribbles

It was pointed out in the Crosscut thread on UW and TFA that our new Manager of Recruiting, Nathan Fitzpatrick, is a former TFA alum.  Actually he has quite a long association with TFA from his Linked-In page:

Current:
Manager, Recruitment at Seattle Public Schools


Past:


Manager, Non-Profit Alliances at Teach For America
Recruitment Director at Teach For America
Corps Member at Teach For America 

Now by my count we have but one Broad person left in the person of Jessica de Barros.   (The district just recently bid farewell to Cordell Carter.

I only know of two TFA SPS staff (there are a couple of teachers but I wouldn't count them):
  • Nathan Fitzpatrick  (he did testify in favor of TFA at the November Board meeting but this was before he was hired by the district)
  • Erin in the School Board office (I cannot remember her last name and, as usual, can't find it at the SPS website.)
This is not cause for alarm or concern butthe Broad Foundation and TFA have stated that they want to spread themselves throughout many school districts.  It's just something to keep on your radar.

      10 comments:

      Maureen said...

      Erin in the School Board office (I cannot remember her last name ....) is Erinn P. Bennett.

      dan dempsey said...

      hummm on the recruiting of teachers in the SPS..... a former TfA guy and TfA booster in Board testimony. Nathan certainly has the correct ideology to get an Administrative Job in the SPS.

      Would a teacher rather Teach in Finland or Seattle?

      This from the Minister of Ed in Finland:

      Virkkunen:
      ... Our teachers are really good. One of the main reasons they are so good is because the teaching profession is one of the most famous careers in Finland, so young people want to become teachers. In Finland, we think that teachers are key for the future and it's a very important profession -- and that's why all of the young, talented people want to become teachers. All of the teacher-training is run by universities in Finland and all students do a five-year master's degree. Because they are studying at the university, teacher education is research-based. Students have a lot of supervised teacher-training during their studies. We have something called "training schools" -- normally next to universities -- where the student teaches and gets feedback from a trained supervisor.

      Teachers in Finland can choose their own teaching methods and materials. They are experts of their own work and they test their own pupils. I think this is also one of the reasons why teaching is such an attractive profession in Finland because teachers are working like academic experts with their own pupils in schools.

      ---------
      Teach for America was approved in Seattle by the School Board ... this sends a clear message of how the Board views too many Seattle teachers.

      The $500,000 "four" of 2007 ... knows exactly how the Big Money wants them to vote and votes that way --- evidence is not required, used, or wanted in formulating School Board approval of proposals. ... Much the same is true for the WA Legislature, and the Gov.
      ------------

      I once thought the Board approvals were arbitrary and capicious .... now I realize the approvals are bought and paid for.

      AIEC said...

      Melissa,

      Don't forget TFA Alum and Executive Director of Schools Aurora Lora. "Ms. Lora's Story" is after all TFA reading.

      Is Bree Duesuealt TFA, or is it that her husband was in TFA? I know they both worked in charter schools and that her background was "consulting" before that.

      Anonymous said...

      What about Courtney Jones Cameron? I got the impression that she had a short teaching career, which made me wonder if it was with TFA.

      trilin

      Melissa Westbrook said...

      AIEC, see I knew other people would remember what slipped my mind.

      Yes, Bree and her husband are both former TFA as is Aurora Lora.

      So that makes 5, 4 of whom are in high level administrative positions.

      (I know another teacher at West Seattle Elementary was TFA but I believe she is leaving that school but I don't know if she is leaving the district.)

      gavroche said...

      Nathan Fitzpatrick (he did testify in favor of TFA at the November Board meeting but this was before he was hired by the district)

      Sounds like a pretty clear case of quid pro quo.

      Another example: DeBarros, a "Broad Resident" was paid by SPS as a consultant to write the "research paper" that led to the District selecting MAP (which Goodloe-Johnson favored already). Then she was hired by the District outright (for $90K or so) and put in charge of MAP.

      Same pattern probably also applies to the hiring of the Strategies 360 person, Lesley Rogers, who was already doing PR for the District as a consultant, and, what a coincidence, ended up as the top choice for SPS' "Chief Communications Officer" after a "national search" by a 30-person hiring committee.

      These people do some kind of work that often fits the SPS HQ reform agenda, first as consultants (or in the case of Fitzpatrick, volunteer speaker -- though he was probably recruited to speak before the Board by TFA's Janis Ortega), and then they are hired full time by SPS and given well-paid, publicly-funded jobs.

      And central admin grows and grows.

      Does anyone in the District ever get hired based on their actual abilities, and not just their connections and favors?

      Melissa Westbrook said...

      Gavroche, yes! Quite a pattern developing. (As you may recall, I have said I believe there is a quid pro quo for TFA and wait for some big announcement to come in October before the Board elections.)

      And the interesting thing is these people get hired because of their skills and yet we get:

      Brad Bernatak - twisting stats and allowing them to be used that way for months

      Lesley Rogers - the communications over the Ingraham incident is not exactly a stellar incident to point to as good crisis management.

      Terrence Menage, Ed.D. said...

      It certainly appears that background, experience and qualifications for jobs in headquarters are secondary to connections and favor trading in how the district fills key positions. This goes a long way in explaining some of the ill-conceived ideas and poorly considered policies that come from directors/administrators.

      Hopefully, enough good people in our city will create the critical mass necessary to force the incumbents out of office. The systemic problems that are not being addressed will continue to waste millions of taxpayer dollars and harm children.

      StopTFA said...

      What a surprise! There's a shortage of teachers at SPS, according to this report, that was attached to the UW's revised Form 2 A

      dan dempsey said...

      At time 11:35 in the following link: Nathan Fitzpatrick (a 2006 Mississippi TfA) cedes his testimony time to Sandy Everlove.

      Check out what Sandy says and then what India Carlson says following Sandy.

      All 20 testimonies were on TfA.