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Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion
Tue Jun 28th 2011, 02:56 PM
In fact it seems they have about 300 openings for the fall. What about hiring local teachers to fill those spots. It does not cost anything to hire them, but it cost several thousand to recruit each Teach for America teacher.

From Susan Ohanian's education blog:

Nearly 100 Memphis school teachers were laid off

While laying off veteran teachers, the district intends to place 100 new Teach for America corpsmen in classrooms this fall. As of last week, it had more than 300 other teacher openings for fall. Is this part of the Gates/Duncan reform (sic) plan? Memphis has received buckets of money both from Race to the Top and from the Gates Foundation.


Nearly 100 city school teachers were laid off Thursday in a somber meeting at the former Messick High School. The teachers are all middle and high school vocational instructors. The biggest cuts are in business technology, family and consumer sciences, marketing, and trade and industrial programs.

In addition to the 95 who were laid off, 31 positions will be cut by attrition and retirement. Deputy Supt. Irving Hamer said the cuts will save $11 million in a division that has not been "overhauled" in 27 years.

He described the cuts as "surgical" and "strategic" in the face of a $100 million revenue loss, including millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds that expire June 30.

But the funds are there to hire TFA teachers, and I find that amazing.

Tenured teachers with many years were let go with no warning. Some were not yet vetted for pensions. Yet they hired 100 TFA teachers with 5 weeks training.

Memphis City Schools lays off 95 vo-tech teachers

Computer repair, criminal justice and shoe orthopedic repair were completely gutted. So were middle school typing classes.

"Teachers were shocked. We expected first- and second-year teachers would be cut," said Keith Williams, president of the Memphis Education Association. "We had teachers with 10, 15, 20, 25 years on the list. One was a year from retirement."

The affected teachers were notified of final cuts by e-mail late Wednesday, Williams said, and told to report to Messick on Thursday morning.

Here's the kicker:

In the meantime, Williams said, the district intends to place 100 new Teach for America corpsmen in classrooms this fall. As of last week, it had more than 300 other teacher openings for fall.

Corpsmen? What is it with calling them corpsmen? They are college graduates with 5 weeks training as teachers....and they are taking jobs of experienced teachers.

Guess what? This hiring of TFA will continue because the new Tennessee education commissioner is a VP of Teach for America.

New TN education commissioner is a VP of Teach for America.

Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday took another step on his agenda of reshaping Tennessee public schools by naming an education commissioner drawn from the ranks of the teaching reform movement.

The Republican governor's selection is Kevin Huffman, vice president of public affairs at Teach for America, a program that has tried to improve classroom teaching by placing recent college graduates in low-income schools and is often criticized by teacher unions.

Huffman, 40, will manage the state's $500 million in federal Race to the Top education grants and its ongoing relationship with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has pledged $90 million to the troubled Memphis school system.

Huffman's ex-wife, Michelle Rhee, is also working hard in TN to bust the teachers' unions.

Michelle Rhee, the controversial former superintendent of Washington public schools, is out to raise $1 billion to counteract the voice of teacher unions.

She spoke Thursday at the Economic Club of Memphis as CEO of Students First, the nonprofit organization she founded after stepping down as D.C. school chief last fall.

"We wanted a nationally recognized speaker to discuss education topics since our community has such a critical vote next week," said club spokeswoman Beth Flanagan.

Rhee, the former wife of new Tennessee Commissioner of Education Kevin Huffman, believes in collective bargaining to a point, has little use for seniority or tenure and is out to make sure a group with heft equal to that of "the union bosses" is shaping policy that affects children's lives.

There is not a single Democratic leader speaking out against tactics like this.

This is the continuation of the education policies of George W. Bush. It is taking a Democratic administration to bring them to fruition as we would never allowed Republicans to do it.
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