This is why we shouldn’t let editors be in charge of education policy and we shouldn’t let politicians be in charge of it either.
DCPS and districts everywhere have a hard time staffing teachers in schools wracked with chronic poverty. The challenges there are great and the fact Florida punishes teachers and schools if they don’t reach some arbitrary standards doesn’t make things easier.
The Times Union’s editorial board said, if we can’t get teachers to voluntarily go to those schools, even after offering an extra 15k, then we should turn to Teach for America.
In case you didn’t know it, TFA takes non education majors, puts them through a six week boot camp and then into our neediest schools where they are supposed to serve two years.They are also the darling of editorial boards, and politicians.
Some more things you might not know is the program is expensive, locally TFA charges 7k per recruit, DCPS own analysis say TFA teachers are substandard as a group when compared to other teachers and they exacerbate the teach turnover problem, sorry make that crisis and putting novice teachers in front of our neediest students is the exact opposite of what evidence says they need. How anybody anywhere thinks this is a good idea is beyond me.
Let me ask you a couple questions, would you put a band-aid on a bullet wound, the metaphorical equivalent of what TFA does and if you needed a professional for a job, would you settle for an ever revolving door of novices which is what TFA provides?
Instead of just throwing warm bodies into a classroom, how about we address the problem. We make classes at the schools mired in poverty smaller, we put in behavioral and academic supports, we give teachers assurances they will be allowed to grow even if their VAM score, a measurement created to predict the breeding rate of livestock but is now also used to measure teachers, isn’t what we would like it to be. Is it to much to ask we come up with solutions?
How about we address the problems which have teachers turn down an extra 15k. I think the reason is Tallahassee and editorial staffs aren’t interested in coming up with real solutions about education, but what do I know, I am just a teacher.
Well Times Union, how about you answer that one?