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Kansas City: they fired about 200 experienced teachers last year to make room for new TFA recruits

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-25-12 12:47 AM
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Kansas City: they fired about 200 experienced teachers last year to make room for new TFA recruits
This is from the blog of a TFAer who got his start in that program years ago. He often now calls out the group for what it has become.

Toto, were not in Kansas City anymore because we were fired.

In Kansas City, they fired about 200 experienced teachers last year to make room for new TFA recruits. The superintendent who made this decision, John Covington, resigned in August to take a job leading Detroits school system. Left behind, were the first year TFA corps members who surely did not get the kind of support from their co-workers that helped people like me survive my first year.

From an article I just read in the Kansas City Star, Ive learned that Kansas City may have been the biggest disaster in the 2011-2012 school year for TFA. They report that 32 out of 141 first year corps members, about 25%, will not be returning. And that is just so far as there will surely be some who just havent decided if they are coming back next year yet.

Even more alarming is that, according to the article, Twenty-seven out of 42 district teachers whose contracts were not renewed this spring were Teach for America teachers. If I am reading this correctly, contracts were not renewed essentially means they were fired after their first year. Maybe Im not understanding this right. Someone from Kansas City, if you would comment and clarify, Id appreciate it.


He presents a graph put out by TFA on their successes, and he makes it clear he does not agree.



The CMs he refers to are Corp Members. They use that rather than teacher recruit. It's a reference to their being part of Americorps.

I dont like when TFA misleads like this. It is dangerous to invent statistics like this because 1) new CMs might believe these numbers and, at least subconsciously, not work as hard at training since teaching must not be that hard, 2) TFA, I think, believes its own hype which would explain why they are complacent with their insufficient training model which includes teaching 12 days, an hour a day, with groups of about 12 students, and 3) politicians believe these lies and base education policy on this which ultimately hurts the students.


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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-25-12 11:01 AM
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1. Rubinstein's comments about the ridiculous graph.
"As someone who is now a veteran education (Ive taught for 14 of the last 20 years), I find this graph absurd. Now Ill be the first to admit that TFA teachers who make it though the first year generally have successful second years and beyond, if they choose to continue. I think nearly every second year teacher will agree that they were much more effective. Yet only 53% of second years in 2010 accomplished this 1.5 year feat (how do they measure that? Do they weigh the brains of their students before and after the year?) compared to 39% when they were first years in 2009. The only explanation for this is that these numbers are meaningless."
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-26-12 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
2. In the comments from a TFA who replaced an experienced teacher there....
"I was a 2011 CM in Kansas City. It is still with pain, guilt, and anxiety that I type the word was. TFA was my dream since my sophomore year of college, I vividly remember crying tears of joy when reading the email I was accepted to teach in Kansas City last March.

I was not aware until I arrived in Kansas City in June for induction that we were replacing 200 experienced teachers who had fired. This always weighed heavily on my conscience.

....Six elementary schools in the district transitioned to a new model of SCL or student centered learning. This was a project based learning system where students were grouped at their instructional level as opposed to their peer age group. In order to test students, intensive computer based testing needed to occur building wide to determine students instructional levels in reading and math. This new system caused mass chaos in my school. I was working with over 72 students each day at the elementary school level as I had different students for homeroom, math and communication arts.

From day one at my school, I knew I was in over my head and reached out for help right away. Students were swearing at me, throwing things at me, hitting me, defacing classroom property, running out of the classroom, fighting, throwing desks and screaming. However, the support that TFA could provide never seemed to be enough as my principal began formal steps to remove me after my third day of teaching. I was eventually put on a professional growth plan by my principal. I went above and beyond to complete all elements of the plan. However this plan which consisted of busy academic based work did not translate to a better managed classroom."

http://garyrubinstein.teachforus.org/2012/05/25/toto-we...

What kind of reform do you call that? This is the kind of try anything reform touted by Arne Duncan and company. I feel sorry for the fired experienced teachers and the kids. No one else.
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