Teachers who fear teachers
Teach for America hopes to place 20 corps members in Boston in the fall--but the Boston Teachers Union doesn't want them. "We already have hundreds of good 'surplus' teachers; we don't need [Teach for America] to provide us any help," claims BTU president Richard Stutman. "By coming here, you will only make matters worse." Clearly Mr. Stutman could learn a thing or two from Miss Manners. More importantly, he needs to brush up on his facts. Seems Boston will actually face 100 to 200 vacancies in shortage subjects next fall (due to resignations and retirements, not a TFA-sponsored coup), and TFA-ers will mostly fill these spots--not compete with surplus teachers. But what this really shows is just how much the unions (and the rest of the education establishment) have come to resent TFA and the energized youthful smarties it recruits into urban classrooms. They shriek that TFA teachers lack adequate training, see the job only as a stepping stone to corporate life, and displace veteran teachers. But the evidence indicates otherwise (see here and here, for starters). TFA can't solve all the ills of urban education, but it certainly makes matters better.
"Hub Teachers Reject Public Service Corps," by James Vaznis, Boston Globe, April 3, 2009
"Teachers welcome," Editorial, Boston Globe, April 6, 2009