Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor

With Teach For America, Who Needs Experience?

July 14, 2009 1 min read

To the Editor:

I found your article “N.C. District Lets Go of Veteran Teachers, But Keeps TFA Hires” (June 17, 2009) strangely satisfying. I have been waiting for the Teach For America idea to be taken to its logical extreme. Why not have TFA, and other organizations like it, simply take over the profession? (Is “profession” still the right word?)

If the young, energetic people from our top colleges are the best candidates to staff schools, then North Carolina has taken the first grand step in dealing with what has been considered a complex problem. The answer is simple: Let these energetic and smart young folks be our nation’s teachers—they are just as effective, and cheaper.

Even though the great majority of TFA recruits have no inclination to remain teaching in classrooms for more than a couple years, that is OK. There will be newer replacements graduating from Harvard and Yale to take their place. We can tell education policy experts such as Linda Darling-Hammond to simply stop worrying about how to overhaul teacher education, since entrepreneurs like Wendy Kopp, TFA’s founder, have it figured out.

It is tiring to maintain one’s belief that wisdom, experience, and knowledge of pedagogy are important to teaching when so many education policymakers continuously make decisions that reflect a contrary opinion. Thank you, North Carolina.

Liz Wisniewski

Newburyport, Mass.

A version of this article appeared in the July 15, 2009 edition of Education Week as With Teach For America, Who Needs Experience?


Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Embracing Student Engagement: The Pathway to Post-Pandemic Learning
As schools emerge from remote learning, educators are understandably worried about content and skills that students would otherwise have learned under normal circumstances. This raises the very real possibility that children will face endless hours
Content provided by Newsela

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Teachers Walk Off the Job at Chicago’s Urban Prep
With just two weeks left to the school year, teachers went on strike over what they say is a lack of support for special education students.
Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune
3 min read
Images shows hand drawn group of protestors.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Teaching Profession Opinion Compassion Fatigue Is Overwhelming Educators During the Pandemic
Educators need acknowledgment and healing while dealing with their own and others' grief. Here’s what administrators can do to help.
Shayla Ewing
5 min read
Illustration of empty shirt and cloud
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Teaching Profession Is It Time to Relax Teacher Dress Codes?
After teaching at home in comfortable clothes, some school and district leaders support casual attire for teachers returning to classrooms.
4 min read
Illustration of clothes on hangers
Teaching Profession Opinion I Started Teaching During the Pandemic. Here's What I Learned
What’s it like launching a teaching career over Zoom? Kindergarten teacher Alicia Simba reflects on an unusual first year in the profession.
Alicia Simba
4 min read
Illustration of paper figures connected in a line.