No Tea Party for TFA

By Liana Loewus — April 03, 2009 1 min read
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Teach for America is coming to Beantown—and the Boston Teachers Union isn’t happy about it, reports The Boston Globe.

With layoffs of current teachers pending, the union is objecting to the placement of 20 new teachers from the esteemed recruitment program, which puts high-achieving recent college graduates into public school classrooms after five weeks of intensive training.

The union’s president, Richard Stutman, sent a letter to TFA saying, “We already have hundreds of good, ‘surplus’ teachers . . . By coming here, you will only make matters worse.”

However, school officials claim they will put the recruits into high-needs slots that laid- off teachers cannot fill for lack of proper state certification. “We absolutely do not plan to bring recruits into program areas where we would have layoffs,” said William Horwath, Boston’s assistant superintendent for human resources. TFA corps members, though not fully certified themselves, often enter with a bachelor’s degree in their assigned subject and having passed a state content exam.

Union members would rather see teachers who are losing their jobs re-trained and certified to fill the open placements. “We are not disturbed but furious that the department would lay off teachers with excellent credentials and bring in people with no experience,” Stutman said. He added the caveat that his objections to the program were only a result of the economic climate.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.