Teaching Profession

Does TFA Have the Corner on the Teacher Job Market?

By Caroline Cournoyer — November 24, 2010 1 min read
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Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post‘s Answer Sheet blog publishes a letter (originally send to Diane Ravitch) in which a Baltimore teacher expresses frustration that she had a hard time finding a job because she’s not associated with Teach for America or the local Baltimore City Teacher Residency program. In the job market, she says, traditionally trained teachers like herself, are treated like “second-class teacher[s] compared to TFA teachers.”

Eduwonk responds with skepticism, saying that of 477 new teachers hired in Baltimore City this year, 160 of them were from TFA while roughly 20 percent were supplied by the teacher residency program. So, these two alternative programs make up about half of the city’s new hires. He counsels:

As a function of their size big city districts hire a lot of teachers from multiple sources each year, which is why you should always be skeptical when any particular pipeline is singled out as representative of anything. In Baltimore, given those numbers, it seems ridiculous to blame these two routes for making it really difficult to find a job...

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.