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But they are leaving anyhow…

February 23, 2011 pm28 2:41 pm

Teach for America supplies teachers to the New York City Department of Education. They are high-achievers from fancy colleges. The NYCDoE pays a hefty per capita fee. The teachers promise to stay two years. Some stay three. Few stay more than that.

TfA cloaks their anti-union mission behind sympathetic personal stories. Peel away the hype – the narratives are fake.

Teach for America gets their feet wet, so they can become administrators, or charter school leaders, or so they can run districts, work for thinktanks, advocacy groups, or elsewhere in the education industry.

  • Two TfAers started Educators for Excellence, a group devoted for advocating against seniority in layoffs. The two teachers are now former teachers, having left (maybe they still have part-time gigs?) to do their anti-union advocacy piece. With Gates $$$, I think.
  • The Wall Street Journal ran a piece this week about a kid named Leblanc who is a great teacher (according to his principal) but is in danger of being laid off… he’s in his second year. Huge red flags, all over the place, and I’m ignoring all of them, except…. He’s TfA. If he is not laid off, isn’t leaving at the end of this year or next anyway?
  • I know a handful of TfA teachers who’ve lasted longer than three years. But they’ve all bounced school to school. Their school this year? Will lose them in a year or two.

Big picture – TfA and TfAers advocate against unions and rights of other teachers, for ideological reasons. They cloak their anti-union animus behind a claim of personal self-interest.  They don’t tell us they are on a mission, instead they try to paint a sympathetic personal story. It is a fraud.

[this post is partially in response to Steve Lazar’s But Will They Stay? – written about new teachers in general.]

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Zulma Villalba permalink
    February 23, 2011 pm28 3:02 pm 3:02 pm

    In the NYT, it states “Dr. Awosogba calls himself pro-union. As a representative of the United Federation of Teachers for six years when he was a social studies teacher, he says he ardently believes that the teachers union can work with the administration to make things better. ”

    I wonder if he had stayed teaching and continued being a chapter leader would he be so concerned about the seniority rule. When he was a teacher, I know he understood the reason for seniority. However, now, as a principal, he’s concerned that the layoffs would affect his school, yet he only hired TFA teachers. I am pretty sure that he is aware the his own union CSA are dead against layoffs. Dr. Awosogba would need to reflect on what was his sole purpose of only hiring TFA teachers and not hiring experienced teachers through the open market.

  2. February 23, 2011 pm28 3:09 pm 3:09 pm

    I think a very telling piece of data would be to compare the number of TfAs who are laid off due to budget cuts to the number who merely left. If you could find that, it would be interesting to say the least.

  3. chaz permalink
    February 23, 2011 pm28 3:55 pm 3:55 pm

    Interesting? The Principal hires TFA teachers and now he complains about “seniority-based transfers”? Maybe somebody should be spotlighting these principals’ hiring practices when they are quoted in the newspapers.

  4. bookworm permalink
    February 23, 2011 pm28 11:13 pm 11:13 pm

    Funny, hasn’t there been a hiring freeze in effect for the past 2 years – longer if my memory serves me correctly? So, why are there ANY first- and second- year teachers outside of shortage areas anyway?

    It COULDN’T be that the “hiring freeze” is so full of loopholes as to make it essentially non-existent, could it??

  5. February 27, 2011 am28 11:06 am 11:06 am

    # The Wall Street Journal ran a piece this week about a kid named Leblanc who is a great teacher (according to his principal) but is in danger of being laid off… he’s in his second year. Huge red flags, all over the place, and I’m ignoring all of them, except…. He’s TfA. If he is not laid off, isn’t leaving at the end of this year or next anyway?

    This officially cracked me up.

    • February 27, 2011 am28 11:14 am 11:14 am

      He could take Sydney and Evan’s slots, right? Oh no, they already left…

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