Teacher Preparation

TFA Plans Detroit Return Over Union’s Objection

By Stephen Sawchuk — May 06, 2010 1 min read
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The popular Teach For America program is returning to Motor City, where 100 new graduates will apply for positions in the school’s beleaguered public schools. This is a big deal for the organization, which hasn’t had any placements there since 2003. Robert Bobb, the emergency financial manager for Detroit Public Schools, has been a supporter of the move.

The teacher-training group put out a four-paged press release announcing the news, and everyone but your mother is quoted in it: Bobb, TFA founder Wendy Kopp, University of Michigan professor Deborah Ball, and Governor Jennifer Granholm all praise the move.

Noticeably absent from the release, though, is Keith Johnson, the president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers. He is threatening to secure an injunction to stop the move if it means displacing some of the 2,000 teachers who have received pink slips.

Sounding a bit as though he’s picked up some talking points from the National Education Association, a big critic of TFA, Johnson argues in this story that the move would “devalue” the teaching profession because the TFA candidates haven’t received as much training as other teachers.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.