Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The federal government gives Teach for America a gift, thumbs its nose at professional teachers.

Teach for America does the exact opposite of what we know to be best for our students. They take barely trained non education types and plop them down in our neediest schools. There they are supposed to stay for just two years before being replaced by another hobbyist who thinks, I will give teaching a try.

Despite this they are very popular with a lot of our leaders including Democrats who basically spit in the face of professional educators when they endorse or support them. I find people like Obama, Duncan and others just pay lip service to teachers. They want our votes but aren’t really interested in helping and improving the profession.  

I know what you are thinking; you have heard my rant before. Well I bring it up again because in the last minute bill to save the nation from default the senate slipped in a provision to help Teach for America. That’s right some senator thought it was okay to risk the fate of the nation in order to help out TFA.

From the Washington Post:   On page 20 of this bill passed by the House, it says:
SEC. 145. Subsection (b) of section 163 of Public 5 Law 111-242, as amended, is further amended by striking 6 ”2013-2014” and inserting ”2015-2016”.

The law that is being amended includes the highly qualified provision, which Teach for America and other school reformers had persuaded legislators to pass a few years ago.

Under No Child Left Behind, all children are supposed to have highly qualified teachers, school districts are supposed to let parents know which teachers are not highly qualified, and these teachers are supposed to be equitably distributed in schools. They aren’t. It turns out that teachers still in training programs are disproportionately concentrated in schools serving low-income students and students of color, the very children who need the very best the teaching profession has to offer. The inequitable distribution of these teachers also has a disproportionate impact on students with disabilities.

It’s not entirely clear who got the provision into the debt deal legislation, but a good bet is Sen. Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who is chairman of the Senate’s education committee and who is a big Teach For America supporter. So is the Obama administration, which has awarded tens of millions of dollars to TFA over the past several years. Administration officials have never offered a public explanation about why someone with five weeks of training should be deemed “highly qualified.”

Congress first approved legislation allowing student teachers and others with little training to be deemed “highly qualified” in late 2010, shortly after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the definition violated NCLB. In 2011 a coalition of  more than 50 organizations — including education, civil rights, disability, student, parent, and community groups – urged Obama in this letter not to keep the definition, but it did anyway.

Once again Washington D.C. insults professional teachers everywhere.

No comments:

Post a Comment