My Teach for America Question

Geekpalaver has done the heavy lifting to uncover why Superintendent Wardynski and the Huntsville City Schools’ latest scheme to unburden the school system of nearly $2 million, the Teach for America (TFA) contract, doesn’t pass the sniff test. In his latest post, he lists the seven questions Dr. Philip Kovacs asked the Board at last night’s meeting, none of which were answered. The Board does not engage in dialogue with the public.

The official story is that hiring through TFA will bring to Huntsville “the ‘best and brightest’ new teachers in the U.S.”  The Huntsville Times reported that

Dr. Casey Wardynski, Huntsville’s superintendent, said the recruitment process is one that the district would have difficultly conducting on its own.
“On our last round of hiring, we just could not match that if we’d tried,” Wardynski said.

What does that last phrase, “if we’d tried” suggest to you? I digress.

The TFA recruits don’t have teaching certificates, but they “spend five weeks working in a real summer school” before starting their new jobs.

I know a way that the HCS could recruit dozens and dozens of uncertified but very bright individuals from our very own community. It wouldn’t cost a dime. It wouldn’t even require much effort.

All the HCS would have to do is encourage applications from adjunct, part-time, non-tenure track, or even fulltime, tenure track faculty at Alabama A&M, UAH, Oakwood, Calhoun, Drake, and Athens State — and waive the requirement that they hold teaching certificates.

Unlike the TFA’ers, these applicants will have advanced degrees and far more than five weeks of teaching experience.

So here’s my question for W and the Board: Consider the following scenario. Two candidates apply for a teaching position. Neither has a teaching certificate. Candidate A has an earned doctorate and years of teaching experience. Candidate B has a bachelor’s, 5 weeks of teaching experience, and has been vetted by the Teach for America program. Am I right is thinking only Candidate B would be considered for employment?

Explain.

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5 thoughts on “My Teach for America Question

  1. It seems pretty simple to me…W and the Board wants to circumvent the Teachers’ Unions and use a cheaper resource. Of course, this is at the cost of our children’s future. It is a lose-lose situation to me.

  2. Should read-I ’ll bet W and the Board members would choose Candidate A for their children too. But it’s not their children. It’s “other” people’s children. Other as in black/brown/poor.

  3. One thought of my TFA question; Who would you rather have teaching your children, Candidate A has an earned doctorate and years of teaching experience, or, Candidate B has a bachelor’s, 5 weeks of teaching experience, and has been vetted by the Teach for America program?

    My choice would be candidate A. I’ll bet if W and the Board members would choose Candidate A for their children too. But it’s not their children. It’s other people’s children.

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