Thursday, February 14, 2013

CCSD Prefers Teach for America over SC Grads

Does it bother you that the Charleston County School District will increase the number of Teach-for-America (TFA) hires in the district next year? It should! This program equates to bringing in an untrained, out-of-state emergency crew to replace local teachers who retire, move, or are "let go" by the district.

Evidently, CCSD prefers these graduates who have no training in the classroom, over certified graduates of our state teacher-education programs at Winthrop, USC, Clemson, the College of Charleston, and Charleston Southern. Many TFA hires will do an enthusiastic and admirable job under those circumstances; however, then they will leave, and schools such as Burke, where many of them work, will be left to the vagaries of chance for the next round.

When founded, TFA touted the ideals of Ivy League graduates who wanted to "give back" to America. It is well past those heady days when it sends graduates of Grove City College. I'm not knocking that particular school; it may provide an excellent education. The point is, why is such a graduate superior to hiring our own state graduates of our taxpayer-supported teacher education programs? Is CCSD saying that these programs are so bad that their graduates are not suitable for the district to hire?

Or, is it that those graduates know what teaching in CCSD means?

At any rate, it is painful that the P&C led its TFA story with a Burke student who cannot understand a seventh-grade math problem.  Was that deliberate?


Anonymous said...

Connect the dots: The superintendent is a Broad graduate. Broad is supported by the Broad Foundation. The foundation trains and supports the placement of administrators in urban districts across the U.S. These administrators are obligated to hire other Broad graduates because they are expected to follow the Broad Plan. Many districts have removed Broad administrators because of their secrecy and tendency to ignore board members. They also strongly support TFA - Teach for America. They prefer working with people who did not follow the traditional teacher/administrator programs. MIlitary, engineering, business, etc.
graduates are their favorites. If you check the superintendent's executive cabinet, you will find Broad grads. She has persuaded the county board to allow some of them to intern at the district at hefty "salaries." The former Chancellor of the D.C. Public schools, Michelle Rhee, was heavily supported by Broad. Some
of the superintendent's current plans are parallel to Rhee's. Google Broad Foundation and Michelle Rhee. You will read some interesting stuff and conclude, "This is just like CCSD's situation." Wake up Charleston County School Board members! She doesn't work for you! You work for her!

Clisby said...

In my opinion, the proper place (if any) for TFA teachers is as assistants to experienced, certified teachers. I'm sure teaching in a struggling school where a lot of kids are working way below grade level is difficult; wouldn't it be at least a little easier if you had a full-time assistant teacher? And the TFA folks wouldn't be on their own in the classroom.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" is right. CCSD tried this a few years ago (2006-07?) and it was an abject failure. They had this big press conference, extolled the virtues of TFA, conducted lengthy evening training sessions on the screening/hiring process for these people, asked teachers and administrators to work several Saturdays at schools to interview prospective "teachers," and then...nothing. Very few applicants. A few bureaucrats got some decent money to coordinate this charade. And then it just disappeared. Isn't that saying about the definition of insanity, "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results," applicable here? THIS is a complete waste of time and resources.