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Monday, June 24, 2013

Teachers speak out against Teach for America

I asked about TFA on a Facebook group for teachers and these were the responses.

I just don't get it. Why do we need to PAY for recruits when districts can hire ACTUAL CERTIFIED teachers for the low cost of a starting salary. Grrrr

 Its a cheap alternative to hiring experienced teachers. Since I'm one of those experienced "high dollar" teachers, this really annoys me.

Fight it tooth and nail. TFAs have only six weeks training. It blows my mind that districts SPEND money to get TFAs who are NOT teachers with 4 year teaching degrees. As a parent, I would never, ever, allow my child to be taught by a TFA, just as I would not send my child to a doctor with six weeks training. Teaching is a profession. Not a temp job.

"It is expensive to train these new teachers, and the investment is lost when they depart. The inexperienced teachers are less effective, especially their first year, and if the turnover is high, a significant portion of them will be first year teachers. As this research shows, student achievement suffers when staff turnover occurs. These schools need stability, as do the students. It is difficult to establish and sustain a solid, positive school culture when turnover is this high. As a result, Oakland is now making a substantial shift in its hiring practices, away from programs such as Teach For America. "

 A waste of money on a temporary work force. TFA is laughing all the way back to the bank. Maybe share TFA's financial statements with your Board members. Maybe share this and do some more research as well

TFA is about putting long term subs in our classrooms--they pay them less, don't have to pay step raises, retirement or other benefits and in two years --they just start all over again--it is just a warm body in a classroom that fulfills unfunded mandates and keeps those of us with real professional teaching certifications from getting jobs because we cost more-demand more and expect more. While the majority of TFA are simply waiting to get into grad school, get their preferred job or hoping the economy will improve. 5 weeks of training--great just what I want for my kids in a teacher--NOT!

Just a way to reduce teacher salaries...and de-professionalize trained educators. "anyone can do it"...

Teach For Awhile is not cheap - there's a fee attached to each teacher hired and some administrative fee. It's no bargain - especially when it probably costs the same to hire an edu-tant as an experienced teacher.

Scabs for America. And many of them are unwitting.



I have worked with at least 10 TFA teachers and only 1 stayed for more than 2 years. One went on to be part of TFA at the national level. One is working for a similar program in S. America, two went on to travel to Australia, one didn't make it past her 1st semester, one opened a charter school in our district boundaries, and I'm not sure what has happened to the others. The kids in our district deserve teachers who are in it for the long haul. Kids become attached to these young teachers but are then asking the following year, "what happened to Ms. X and Mr. Y?"

The corporate "reformers" heart TFA- keeping teachers' salaries down is one of their objectives. Besides, do we really want to use the Peace Corps model for our educational system? Wasn't the Peace Corps developed to help Third World Countries? Mmmmmmmm.

The district in this case, is obviously looking to use TFA as a bandaid to what is more than likely a gaping wound. They are sold on it's pricepoint obviously, and not on it's success rate. Again, they cut budgets at the classroom level and the kids suffer for it. To me, it matters not how many TFA teachers are great or not, because the program doesn't adequately prepare good or bad teachers to be prepared with the realities in the classroom. The kids end up being the victims of cost cutting measures. Most areas do not have teacher shortages either, based on the number of RIFs that have been doled out in the last few years. They cut, then replace with this shoddy program...

 I would also like to add that there is no "shortage of teachers"---there is a shortage of political will to pay and support professional career teachers. The "teacher shortage" is a manufactured crisis-one of many that education deformers use to push their agenda of profitting from public education funds.

 It's union busting, too.

And I could go on and on too. -cpg

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