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The Seattle School Board voted last night 4 to 3 to continue the contract with Teach for America. Unfortunately, I believe that this sends a message to our well qualified and talented teachers that anyone can take their place and that’s OK. At least that’s what four citizens in Seattle have decided.
Three of the four votes were by previous members of the “gang of four” who could be relied upon to vote in unison with our Broad trained superintendent, Dr. Goodloe-Johnson, so it was not a surprise that they would continue to vote in that same vein. The fourth board member, Kay Smith-Blum, continually spoke of her “Principal poll” where she apparently asked a certain number of principals if they would hire a TFA, Inc. temp. Our first question to Ms. Smith-Blum was why not ask the parents? It would be our children most directly affected. And as most people involved with a public school system know, principals come under the scrutiny of the superintendent and this particular interim superintendent, Dr. Susan Enfield, was key in bringing TFA, Inc. to Seattle so what are they going to say? See Who Is Backing Teach for America, Inc. in Seattle? for the background on Dr. Enfield’s involvement with TFA, Inc.
It has become apparent that most parents are not aware of who is or might be teaching their children within the Seattle Public School system. Most parents assume that the teachers in our schools have been well-trained, educated in the profession and have a made a commitment to their schools and to their community. The school district, including the superintendent and four members of the school board, seem to think that what we don’t know won’t hurt us but that is not the case, not when it comes to who is teaching our children.
As you might imagine, these will not be the final words on the subject of TFA, Inc. on this blog. Far from it. The reason that this site began was that I believed that it was imperative to have an informed public within the Seattle community when it came to issues of education within our public schools system and that will continue.
Now it is a matter of moving outside of the blog and reaching all parents and providing them with the power to make decisions for themselves that affect their children.