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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Missing TFA Corps Member Found... in Renton

Remember that Teach for America corps member who was maybe hired to teach a special ed class at Aki Kurose but then wasn't because she wouldn't return the District's calls? Turns out that she's just fine. She got a teaching job in Renton.

Think about that. When fully trained, experienced teachers can't find a job, this Teach for America corps member found two!

Ann Dornfeld tells the story on KUOW.

20 comments:

Unknown said...

What's odd is that Renton hired her BEFORE they signed any contract with TFA but maybe somebody had an inside track. I'm lost over why TFA thinks this is a professional way for any teacher to act.

Charlie Mas said...

Renton school board voted to enter into an agreement with TFA despite all of the public comment at the meeting being in opposition to the contract.

Whom do these Board members represent? If they are not listening to their constituents, then who are they listening to?

mirmac1 said...

Interesting that she was hired as: a) an uncertificated "emergency" sub, and b) an LA/SS teacher. What happened to her "highly qualified" special education expertise? Oh yeah, it didn't exist. But that did not stop our district's General Counsel from trying to blow smoke up our boards' ***.

Then the TFA lovers, led by Generalissimo DeBell and yellow journalist Lynn Varner, berate four board directors for even DARING to question these fine youngsters qualifications....

TFA and their cronies are in the wallow together.

snark said...

Well at least she wasn't hired as a special ed teacher. Maybe they can have her teach AP Lit, no wait, you need training to teach AP classes.

mirmac1 said...

The Generalissimo got what he wanted in the Exec Comm, which was little discussion of the next TFAer in the docket: Elroy Aun(sp?)

Funny, kind of the reverse of "the artist formerly known as Prince". Aun's name has only been spoken in meetings, nothing provided in writing. Board directors are expected, and the Exec Comm agreed to, intro/act on "the TFA who wants to be known as Elroy Aun", based on the assurances by staff that he's met all necessary qualifications.

Where has staff been wrong/misled in the past?

* It seems not too long ago (last week) that a proposed SpEd TFA did not have any SpEd credential. Staff claimed she had an endorsement in SpEd based on passing the Basic Skills Test in reading, math and writing. Huh?

* Staff continues to misreport the status of remaining TFA in our schools. 50% are no longer teachering in their assignments, NOT 1 out of six.

* Holly Ferguson had to be forced to confirm whether any of the TFA actually took and passed their WEST-Es as required by the RCW, two had not.

* Staff knew the TFA Spanish teacher took his WEST-E in Bilingual Education, but they put Spanish on the Board Action report.

* Buildings used defective hiring teams that did not comply with the CBA. Aki's had two administrators and the teacher development coach (can we say "job security"?)

* etc

But, I'm not so concerned about one hire. I dislike the lack of transparency, the duplicity, and the sleaze. I thought that was going to end with a new superintendent - someone who put children first.

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is _____, responding to the phone message you left. I must apologize, but as it turns out I don't have the qualifications necessary to fill the position for which I have applied, conditionally hired, and for which I have been, apparently, incompletely vetted. Because of that I am pursuing a position with a different organization. If you have any further questions about my application for the particular position with your organization please communicate with the employment placement company acting as my sponsor.

Apologies, again. Thank you for your consideration.

______

-Oompah

Anonymous said...

Unable to post to Tuesdays open thread. Comment section at the Everett Herald is busy again.

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20120913/NEWS01/709139957

Public School Parent

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
pm said...

Check this--

Maybe the experienced teacher had bad references and poor interviewing skills and is thus unemployed while the TFA person was a more appealing hire.

mirmac1 said...

pm,
yer talking about the prospective TFA hired who a)misrepresented her credentials; and b) refused to answer phone confirming those credentials.

Yeah, the inexperienced teacher may have had stellar "interviewing" skills, but pretty much miss the mark on everything else.

Based on the TFA claque, which often gives each other's personal info as references, none of the important due diligence sh** matters. Their's is an ideological battle that hapless rubber-stamping board directors are only all too willing to play along.

Anonymous said...

PM....

The interviewing skills nor the "bad references" wasn't instrumental in the case of the experienced Teacher I spoke with. He made it quite clear that direct answers were provided-including information regarding extra grant funding that would've benefited the school(s) he interviewed at (one of his credentialed areas is in P.E. and this department was awarded a PEP grant last year). His references were also from respected Administrators-either still employed or retired from the district.

Its no secret that certain districts (IF not all districts) tend to target and "black-ball" a lot of experienced Teachers, thus keeping them from receiving fair consideration for positions that even the interviewers know they can perform.

Yet in the case of this TFA individual, she was hired in secrecy.

There's still something not right.

Anonymous said...

Snark, what's this about special training to teach AP classes?

Thanks, ELB

Anonymous said...

Not one person testifying to the Renton school board supported the TFA hire. The board approved the hire anyway.

-skeptical-

snark said...

ELB, I may be wrong. I have an acquaintance who teaches AP classes and did special professional development before he started but that may actually have been optional? OSPI says trained staff is "Essential," but I don't see any requirement there. The College Board web site does not seem to say that they actually require training to approve the course, though that could be part of the "audit" they refer to. (College Board and OSPI offer training.)

Maybe a teacher who teaches AP could clarify for me? I'm sorry I assumed I knew what I was talking about here!

Anonymous said...

Wow, good thing she's been found. I was about to start putting up posters...

Snarkie

Anonymous said...

I know APP teachers don't have to have any special qualifications, even though the district website misleadingly says they understand how to work with gifted kids. Can't imagine it's any different for AP teachers.

ELB

Anonymous said...

Whom do these Board members represent? If they are not listening to their constituents, then who are they listening to?

Most constituents do not testify at board meetings nor blog. I bet most run of the mill constituents have a favorable opinion of TFA.

Reader

Jan said...

Reader: I suspect most "run of the mill" constituents either have a neutral opinion, or an uninformed opinion (and I concede, not all anti-TfA opinions are well informed either, though some certainly are). The vast majority of "constituents" (parents, students, and District taxpayers) have never met a TfA corps member, have never been taught by one, and have never attended a school where one taught. Being fairly insulated from any impact (except very remotely through paying taxes that pay these folks), they are likely only aware from what little they read through the ST or other media. Since the ST (and many other mainstream media outlets) support TfA, if they have thought of it at all, it is likely to be with indifference or the sort of weak, uninformed support that comes from -- well, the people who run these things evidently like them, so they must be ok.

If my guesses are correct, I suppose you could call it a favorable opinion, but it doesn't really feel like that to me. I would contrast TfA with what seems to me like a fair amount of "real" charter school support. I also disagree with that, but my sense is that the "force" -- the actual conviction -- behind charter school support is a little more robust, unless people actually think through the bill's language and look at how the negatives of charters (hard to close, few or no controls by taxpayers, selectively discriminatory admissions, etc.) have played out in other states. That is a lot of work, and many won't bother to do it.

mirmac1 said...

Reader,

On what do you base that conclusion? Perhaps TFA's 24/7 marketing program? Proven results that pass muster?

I thought not.

Charlie Mas said...

I have a favorable opinion of Teach for America. I think that they do wonderful work where they are needed.

I have tried to be very careful not to write disparagingly about Teach for America in general and to be certain not to write disparagingly about the corps members.

I think that Teach for America's expansion into areas that are not experiencing a teacher shortage is a bad idea and I oppose that, but I can oppose that policy and practice without having an unfavorable opinion of Teach for America in general.