Teach For America is good for Minnesota

  • Article by: CRYSTAL BRAKKE and MATT KRAMER
  • Updated: July 31, 2013 - 9:09 PM

Intense TFA debate affirms the critical nature of the education challenge.

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badcopperJul. 31, 13 6:43 PM

Let them hire who they want to hire. Union or no union. No more blacklisting those who are " not in the club".

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wplettfanJul. 31, 13 8:09 PM

TFA teachers can stand on their individual merits just like any other teaching candidate. If they can't pass muster so be it.

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pumiceJul. 31, 13 8:57 PM

Re: "Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and several charter schools brought Teach for America to Minnesota in 2009 as one additional source of diverse teaching talent." So then. How much impact have those "extraordinary" "recent college graduates and midcareer professionals with strong leadership qualities and a deep commitment" to "teaching our state’s most underserved kids" "in our most under-resourced communities" had in those four years? Has Minnesota's four-year high school graduation rates for black and Latino students past 50%? Is Minnesota's four-year high school graduation ratepast 40% for Native American students?

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supervon2Jul. 31, 13 9:05 PM

Remember, this is a union controlled state and soon the unions will be running the polling places reporting as to how you vote. Very soon.

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pumiceJul. 31, 13 9:06 PM

I inadvertently hit "Send" before I was finished. Sorry for the duplication. From the middle: How much impact have those "extraordinary" "recent college graduates and midcareer professionals with strong leadership qualities and a deep commitment" to "teaching our state’s most underserved kids" "in our most under-resourced communities" had in those four years? Have Minnesota's four-year high school graduation rates for black and Latino students surged past 50%? Has Minnesota's four-year high school graduation rate for Native American students surged past 40%? How good has TFA's "diverse teaching talent" been for Minnesota?

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kwoebkeJul. 31, 13 9:10 PM

I know of a mid-career bilingual teacher who has paid for and successfully completed a graduate degree in education, but because of difficult new standardized testing, has been unable to obtain a license. (The testing is unrelated to the area of licensure.) He is not only Spanish-fluent, but also grew up as an orphan in Kenya and speaks five languages fluently. He has several years of experience working as a substitute in local districts. What a wonderful role model he would be for our students in Minneapolis. There are many examples of how this new testing is affecting some of our best Spanish-fluent teachers. If the Board of Teaching is interested in granting waivers, perhaps they should start with adults who have already shown their commitment to teaching as a career. But of course, people who have actually have Master's degrees will have to be paid more. And isn't money really what it's all about when it comes to our kids?

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endothermJul. 31, 13 9:23 PM

Though I am sure many of the individuals involved mean well, I just don't see how introducing under-trained amateurs into the system is really going to help things. Five weeks of second-rate training just doesn't prepare TFA teachers for the challenges they will face. At the very least, they should be required to do a semester of supervised student teaching before managing their own classrooms. It is true that some principals support TFA, mainly because they have tight budgets and can pay these people the lowest possible wages. Even at its best, TFA is a gimmick that occasionally shows okay results.

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gaijinn8Jul. 31, 13 9:43 PM

Dearest Pumice: Before we all get carried away trying to answer your incredibly deep and thought-provoking questions, I think some of us would like to know how and why the existing system allowed these kids to have been neglected as long as they have in the first place. Be part of the solution: at least we're having the discussion now.

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scottkyJul. 31, 13 9:47 PM

Ultimately, until the best teachers are placed in the lowest performing school, the situation is not going to get better. Now, the question is how to get these teachers into these schools, because they sure are not volunteering.

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hame0058Jul. 31, 13 9:53 PM

Pure Propaganda. Just substitute "doctor" wherever it says "teacher" and you'll realize how bogus and ridiculous this advertisement they call a "commentary" really is.

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