I'm baaaaaaack.

Hoarding All the Glitter Since 2001.

10 May 2013

I don't get why SFUSD is proposing spending $30,000 buying ten Teach for Americans for the next school year.  SFUSD is a popular district; it maintains an active job pool and has plenty of fully credentialed candidates who don't get hired.  Why pay TFA to do what the district has already done itself?

Moreover, the district is anticipating TFA providing some Special Education candidates.  Since I read ALL the board agendas, I know that many probationary Special Education teachers were removed without cause this year.  I don't think the answer is to replace them with entirely uncredentialed if well-meaning candidates, especially candidates who the state of California is unwilling to consider "highly qualified" no matter what the feds say.  Moreover, these candidates are also for hard to staff schools.  Hard to staff schools generally have a lot of English Language Learners.  The state is at present also unwilling to unleash alternatively credentialed-ish teachers on ELLs.  So where are these expensive recruits going to work?

Not to mention, sending two-year missionaries to "hard to staff" schools is unlikely to make these schools easier to staff in the future - unless you anticipate a never-ending chain of Teach for Americans, each link lasting two years.  Not that that means easier staffing, exactly, or ensures that students have trained, able educators who have been there long enough to build relationships with them, of course.

Additionally, there is an its/it's typo in the reso, and I strongly believe that such errors demand not only correction but utter destruction and contempt for the reso in question.


Jessica Peck said...

I 100% understand your distrust of teach for Americans corps members However, I want to caution you, if any end up working in your school.. Please welcome them and support them as a colleague. In interest of full disclosure, I got a traditional teacher's license and BA in education, then naively joined TFA because I believed in the "mission," not knowing enough to question the method. I was so blessed by the "traditional," friendly, creative, and effective teachers at my school, and they were pivotal in opening up my and others' mindsets. I've been reading your blog for a while and I believe you could be an amazing resource for any incoming TFAers, whether or not they " belong" there at first.

E. Rat said...

It isn't in any teacher's interest not to help a new teacher, TFA or not. A struggling classroom has a negative impact on the whole school, and I want all of the children at my school to be placed in happy, engaging classrooms.

Besides, since I am an ancient alumni of Teach for America myself, it would be beyond obnoxious not to help young do-gooders.

I have a significant issue, though, which SFUSD hiring Teach for Americans, since I do not believe it can be justified financially, is not necessary in terms of teacher recruitment, and does nothing to solve hard to staff/hard to fill issues. It is especially silly to pay three thousand dollars a head for uncredentialed teachers who may not be able to work with English Language Learners in a district that is about one third ELL.