TFA Updates

Federal Way Schools, the other new TFA district, renegotiated their contract so that they could reduce the number of hires they were required to make.  They are trying to find a donor to cover the $3k per year per teacher TFA fee (as opposed to the Seattle fee of $4k per year per teacher) but haven't yet so they cannot afford to hire the 10 they originally planned for.  They will be hiring 4 but currently have hired only 3.  It appears they are all math or science majors. 

The TFA/Apple connection?  Steve Jobs wife is on the TFA board.

TFA has a new website and boy, is it interesting.
  • New mission statement: Teach for America is growing the movement of leaders who work to ensure that kids growing up in poverty get an excellent education.You'll note it says nothing about teachers.  You'll note that it says nothing about shortages or filling gaps.  
  • There have this at their Mission page:  We can provide an excellent education for kids in low-income communities.  Students in New Orleans have made major gains since 2000 with students scoring basic or above on statewide tests.  This is great news but it implies that the gains have been made by TFA recruits.  Many recruits teach in New Orleans but they are not the majority of teachers there.  It's hard to understand why they put that on this page except to imply that TFA was the difference in test scores.  Somewhat disingenuous on their part but TFA uses the stats they like and ignore the rest. 
They have a Graduate School and Employer Partnerships and what plethora of choices that face TFA recruits.  Let's just look at a few. 
  • Under Business & Finance, Deloitte "Two-year deferrals for students who receive full-time offers from specific business areas at Deloitte and are also accepted into Teach For America.  Deloitte recruits Teach For America corps members for full-time opportunities."   Harvard Business school -" Two-year deferral for students who are admitted to the program and choose to join Teach For America."  Google -"Two-year deferrals for students who receive job offers from Google and are also accepted into Teach For America.  Google mentor for corps members during their two year corps experience.  Google will consider Teach For America corps members for full time opportunities."  There were at least 25 companies and schools.
  • Under Law, Georgetown -"two-year deferral for students and consideration of application fee waiver."    (Georgetown's admissions page says this,  "Georgetown Law does grant need-based fee waivers on a case-by-case basis."  Northwestern - "two year deferral and waives application fee for both corps members and alumni." There were at least 25 law schools.
  • Under Medicine - Cornell, Duke, Ohio State, Stanford and many others offer two-year deferral.   There were at least 25 school listed.
  • Under Policy - Brown offers two-year deferral, waives application fee AND provides up to a 25% tuition discount to TFA alumni AND priority paid research assistantship consideration.  Cornell Institute in Public Affairs School - application fee waivers and a minimum of $18k tuition fellowship (50% tuition) for admitted alumni.
  • Under Science, all the institutions offer the two-year deferral and no more.  Some irony in this demand for math and science and yet those math/science majors wouldn't get as many benefits as say the public policy majors.
Stating up front, I know that students who participate in public service like TFA, Americorps, Peace Corps get some student loan forgiveness.  As well if you are in a certain type of public service (TFA or Peace Corps or military service, you can get a two-year deferment BUT not for Americorps which I find odd.)  But TFA gets the most benefits out of all the public service areas that I checked.  It's amazing and no wonder people like it - they have almost have a guarantee of somewhere to go afterwards. 


Anonymous said…
The more we learn about TfA, the clearer it becomes why poseurs like Susan Enfield and Tom Stritkus (I keep trying to forget how to spell his name)were such eager beavers to get their names affiliated with this exclusive club.

On the face of it--since it has zero real benefit to SPS, and it's literally a slap in the face to Tom's program and colleagues--it made no sense.

--stone steppers and social climbers unite
Anonymous said…
What's the deal with three TFAs at Aki Kurose? What's the deal with twenty job openings at that school?

Is this principal fairly new? The whole thing is too fishy. A random parent who supports the hirings on this blog doesn't convince me of community buy-in.

Will this principal have some additional job security that twenty openings didn't speak so well for?

--just wondering
Just wondering, nearly half of RBHS' staff was let go and you have to wonder what happened there. It means that a brand-spanking new principal (and by new I mean not a principal prior to this)and a hiring committee to hire new staff. You have wonder who they end up with at that school.

Also, word has it that several good teachers at less than happy schools have taken the opportunity to flee to more secure schools. This includes RBHS and Cleveland.
dan dempsey said…
Do not forget to call the SPS to testify in regard to TfA at Wednesdays Board meeting: 206-252-0040 you can signup on Labor Day.

Action Items:

1. Action Item
King County Metro Transportation Contract – (Operations) Approval of this item will approve a contract with King County for $2,184,573 for the purchase of ORCA Business Passport Products.

2. intro/ action
Authorizing the Superintendent to approve applications for Conditional Certification – (Executive) Request for PESB to grant conditional teaching certificates to 2 members of the Teach for America corps to teach in Seattle Public Schools.

3. action
Series 4000 Policies – (Operations) Approval of this item will repeal current (action) Policy Section E and approve the new Series 4000 Policies.
(edits made to several policies and procedures – see Series 4000 analysis grid)
Anonymous said…
I have confidence that the RBHS PTSA will make sure that truly experienced and qualified teachers will be hired for their students.

These folks have made it clear that they won't be used by SPS any longer.

--TFA will need to find suckers elsewhere
dan dempsey said…
Here are the current job opportunities in the SPS. You will notice that there are NO teaching positions at SPS High Schools advertised at this time.
dan dempsey said…
OK so how is the District actually satisfying the requirements of the Law in this TfA hiring?

First the only way the SPS thinks they can satisfy the law is under:

(ii) No person with regular teacher certification in the endorsement area is available as verified by the district or educational service district superintendent or approved private school administrator, or circumstances warrant consideration of issuance of a conditional certificate.


The District uses that excuse for seemingly all their bone-headed moves.


The District repeatedly ignores evidence and chooses programs and practices that enlarge the achievement gaps for low income students.

Everyday Math continues to be a pathetic performer ... the Discovering series at high school is also a serious under performer.

The Central Administration and Board rather than fess up to their pathetic decisions has decided that it is the "Teachers" fault and that TfA is needed to turn this around. (TfA will enlarge the hiring pool -- right Harium. TfA is legal -- right Steve)

Ridiculous as usual.... the data shows that in districts with an adequate supply of highly qualified teachers .. TfA never improves test scores.

So why TfA? My guess is because the big money wants it.

Check the latest on the Daily KOS on those 2007 SPS Board elections....

"According to Public Disclosure Commission records, Seattle School Board candidates in 2007 spent a record $608,400.90. The winners raised 81.82% of those funds, and 57.75% of their contributions came from 17 contributors—14 of which consisted of 7 wealthy couples, including Steve and Connie Ballmer. Nowhere is it more evident that a wealthy political elite drives the privatization of public education than in Seattle."

So 7 wealthy couples likely want TfA and so the SPS says to hell with the law ... lets get TfA. Let us not forget who brought us the best board money could buy in 2007.

What a country.... What a city.
seattle citizen said…
Dan posted this link to job openings in SPS. As Dan said there are no teacher jobs listed (tho' we know the district will need more teachers) but there ARE four jobs for the "business intelligence intitiative," which are Senior Applications Developers, computer programmers to manage data from MAP, MSP/HSPE and other digital assessments. They also "code tasks to support content delivery..." Hmmmmm....from a sample job description:
"This is an exciting business intelligence (BI) developer position in an energetic, dynamic and evolving K-12 education organization. The business intelligence initiative is enabling the district to enhance student results and support the new district performance management initiatives. You will be working on interesting and challenging projects where we will welcome your initiative and expect your experience and skills to produce spectacular results for our district.

Job Duties

· Member of team responsible for delivery of academic content to school leaders

· Coding tasks to support content delivery to front-end clients

· SQL Server 2008 SSRS for report development and deployment to SharePoint frontend

· Development of reporting framework

· Creation of SharePoint elements used for end user data capture and querying

· QA on the above components. QA is managed as a part of the core responsibilities of the main developers, rather than as a separate discipline.

· Maintains development standards and procedures

WV has a job for a "BUNTER."
seattle citizen said…
I stand corrected: There ARE a few teaching jobs posted at the SPS website. Dan, you mis-steered me! I took you at your word!

WV lives in Cringea, a country where everyone cringes when the outputs of education are overly quantified
dan dempsey said…
I said: "You will notice that there are NO teaching positions at SPS High Schools advertised at this time."

OK .. make that "there are NO full-time teaching positions at SPS High Schools advertised at this time."

A part time Spanish teacher at Garfield seems to be about it for High School teaching at a high school location.
seattle citizen said…
Sorry Dan, my mistake. Reading too quickly!
Maybe they could eliminate those four Performance Management data jobs and fund four high school teachers instead...
dan dempsey said…
Hey... how can life go on without a .....

Teacher Incentive Fund Project Director?
Sure hope they find one soon.

The TIF Project Director will provide leadership for Seattle Public Schools' (SPS) Teacher Incentive Fund Grant. ... $81,931.00 - $113,131.00 Annually

The TIF Project Director will have the following areas of responsibility:

(1) coordinating the Teacher Incentive Fund Team (TIFT) that will provide grant oversight and guidance;

(2) developing, overseeing and assessing the five grant-funded approaches to improved teacher performance;

(3) oversight and coordination of all elements of the grant, including the human resources, budgetary and performance incentive components; and

(4) reporting, accountability and representing the district to the federal requirements of the grant.

This position will report to the Executive Director of Human Resources and participate as a member of the human resources management team, working closely with the TIFT to ensure a consistent approach to teacher incentive, support and evaluation. The "incumbent" in this position is also expected to model the core values and beliefs essential in supporting the SPS strategic plan, Excellence for All.

The "incumbent" .... how about using the word person or employee instead of incumbent.

from the dictionary ...

Incumbent = noun
the holder of an office or post.

2 [ attrib. ] (of an official or regime) currently holding office : the incumbent president had been defeated.

Well given that supporting the "Strategic Plan" is a vital part of this position .... if this district is ever going to put more resources into teaching students ... rather than funding more highly paid central office positions, we may need a regime change ...

Be sure to watch Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper and Kevin Costner in "Company Men"
Without the Strategic Plan this position would likely not exist ... along with a lot of other positions.
Anonymous said…
I don't know if this has been posted before, but Goldman Sachs has a paid summer internship program for 20 TFAers.
- $11,500 - not bad for 2 months work.

mirmac1 said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
uh - I don't get it...

No teacher positions advertised? So... hire a bunch of longterm substitutes? (In a union busting move?)

McClure recently lost their amazing, brilliant librarian to Tacoma public library. A grievous loss to the school. I don't see that position advertised.

Also, McClure hired an admin (last year's intern) for an LA position. How did he jump the "line" over all the LA teachrs with seniority?

StopTFA said…
I gotta tell ya. Do you think Stritikus is capable of fathoming the damage he's done to his faculty and staff? Or do you think he can rationalize in his head, pushing his agenda for self-aggrandizement and further destruction of the COE?

Who's looking out for the state's interests?

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