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I Know What You Did Last Summer- You Went to TFA Bootcamp!

April 15, 2011

Apparently those five weeks of “How to be a Teacher and rid the world of despicable (Yolie’s words) veteran teachers” qualify you to take over for Kansas City teachers who have been conveniently fired so you can be brought in from auction at 3,000 a  head -courtesy of Kansas City, MO  taxpayers and at the expense of 115 probationary teachers who were conveniently fired to make way for TFA.   Who says permanent status doesn’t matter?  A few months back I mentioned how Congress had on the down low suddenly made these youngsters at TFA “highly qualified.”  Now we know why.

This news video does not mention the TFA angle but it does mention that most of these teachers received excellent evaluations:


Congress’ rush to make TFA “teachers” -who are in effect glorified camp counselors- “highly qualified under NCLB is part of a trend to deprofessionalize teaching.  It didn’t take long for my prediction to come true.  The original goal of TFA was to fill gaps in certain areas of the country with a shortage of real teachers.  Now real teaching is being outsourced to fresh faced ivy league students as a resume builder and a student loan payoff program.  What will happen to the 115 teachers fired who had good evaluations? Will they be able to find work anywhere in Missouri?  I bet they never thought they’d get caught up in a vile witch hunt as mantras of “fire the bad teachers” surrounded them.  The supposed reason for their firing?  Low test scores in the schools they taught in. Only probationary teachers were fired because they could be fired.  Which explains the anti -tenure bill brewing in the Missouri state legislature.  With tenure removed, all teachers can be fired and replaced with TFA who are now highly qualified.

This isn’t all that Missouri teachers are dealing with.  The same union busting and anti tenure bills are making their way through their state legislatures. The hateful comments against teachers on local Missouri media websites is frightening.

As the last vestige of the common good -public education-disappears we can expect more of the same.  Funny, but Finland, the country extolled in Waiting for Superman,  actually respects its teachers and does very little testing.  But then again they have a 2% child poverty rate and a massive social safety net.  They aren’t dismantling Medicare and slashing unemployment benefits.

Meanwhile back at LAUSD King Deasy sent a proclamation by email called the “Performance Meter Summary” proclaiming that the demonized teachers of the district are to double test scores in language arts and math.  There is no support mentioned simply numbers because we know that a number on a corporatized test tells us all we need to know about our students.

Prepare for massive cheating and shuffling of students to other schools.  I’m sure our Options school will do quite brisk business during Deasy’s reign.

My favorite part of this performance decree is the demand that the number of “violent suspensions” be dramatically decreased.  Hmm, so kids who are flat out dangerous will just be “counseled and warned?”   But wasn’t it Deasy who was critical of the way a high school handled a situation with a special ed student whose gun went off on campus injuring two students?  If I recall that right, he said the school was too lax with security.

So right about now I am wanting to ask an ex-Fremont teacher who cozied up to the corrupt administration and who said he would “live to fight another day” whether finally, now that day is here.  I have a feeling retirement will come before then.

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