Saturday, December 6, 2014
Orlando about to let the barbarians (TFA) in the gate
When talking about Teach for America, next year Orlando will have fifty, the year after a 100 and in a couple years it will be 200 or more except then they won’t be filling hard to fill positions, but jobs professional teachers of college of education graduates who would spend a lifetime in your classrooms would and I know because this is what has happened in Jacksonville.
Teach for America also exacerbates the turnover problem that Orlando is fighting because the vast majority won’t serve more than 2 years, heck in Jacksonville nearly a fifth don’t finish that commitment. Then there is the cost, where I can’t speak to the finder’s fee Orlando will be paying for each member or the additional costs in training because new teachers require a lot more but in Jacksonville we will be paying an additional 5 million dollars on TFA, for 200 corp members per year, over the next three years. Now it’s true much of that money has been donated, not surprisingly from charter school interests, but imagine what would happen had Jacksonville taken the money and used it to recruit professional teachers and top graduates?
I would pose this final question to Orlando, do you want professional teachers with training and education who may spend a lifetime in your classrooms, or hobbyists with five weeks training who think, hey I will give that a try, only to leave after two years. replaced by anther. Decide what you want and demand your school board do it. I believe Orlando is letting the forces of privatization in the gate and should rethink its plan, if not I also believe they will be making things worse.