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Archive for April, 2010


Sacramento Nixes Teach for America Deal 0

Posted on April 28, 2010 by dmayer

TFA = The Teacher Man

Showing uncommonly good sense, Sacramento has decided to not to hire 90 Teach for America (TFA) recruits over the next three years for a whopping cost of $2.7 million in recruitment and support fees as announced in March, 2010. That amount does not include the teachers” salaries. To educators the proposition was laughable. Why would cash-strapped Sacramento schools even consider such an deal when California is currently overrun with unemployed, fully-credentialed, highly-effective teachers who would be happy to teach in the city”s neediest schools? The deal had “River City” written all over it. According to the Sacramento Bee:

Superintendent Jonathan Raymond of the Sacramento City Unified School District said he has backed off pursuing Teach for America in favor of establishing a stronger relationship with local credentialing programs at UC Davis, Sacramento State and Fortune School of Education.

Raymond had faced strong opposition from the Sacramento City Teachers Association, which questioned the timing of his decision to pursue Teach for America. The district is in the midst of massive layoffs and is asking the teachers union to accept furloughs and health benefit concessions in order to save jobs.

The article goes on to state:

Teach for America requires communities to raise $2.7 million to support the program for three years. School districts pay the salaries of teachers hired.

That”s $2.7 million for 90 teachers over a three year period with no guarantee those recruits will stay longer than two years? The inference here is that TFA requires all school districts to pay $30,000 for each recruit they hire. Could this be true? And if it is, what the frick does TFA do with all the hundreds of millions of dollars they receive in donations each year?

what the frick does TFA do with all the hundreds of millions of dollars they receive in donations each year?

Why Does Bill Gates Mistreat Poor Children? 0

Posted on April 20, 2010 by dmayer

Do all children deserve to be taught by a professional teacher? With standardized test scores the being the meticulous measure of a child’s academic worth, isn’t it imperative that all children, especially poor children of color, have access to great teachers? I think it is the civil right of every child to have a professionally trained teacher when one is available. Just because Bill Gates says a person is a teacher doesn’t make it so. Why does Bill Gates prefer to hire non-teachers for his corporate schools? I have an idea, but I’d appreciate his answer to that question. Bill Gates, why don’t you think poor children of color deserve professional teachers?

Bill Gates supports only Charter Management Corporations (CMOs) — or corporate charter schools, not traditional public schools. He is involved in every aspect of the school experience including real estate, construction, food service, testing, publishing, counseling, consulting, and staffing through his NewSchools Venture Fund. His goal is to privatize our public schools. His posse includes several other multi-billionaires including Eli Broad – rhymes with toad – infamous for staffing top management at AIG, the Waltons of Wal-Mart, the Dells of the PC, The Fishers of the GAP, as well as several foundations and multi-national corporations too numerous to mention. See Education Watch for details.

His newest attack is on the children of Wisconsin. Soon after Governor Jim Doyle made this announcement on March 4, 2010 Milwaukee announced a deal with a CMO and TFA, a baby-step to faux education reform.

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle announced today that Wisconsin will not receive first-round federal Race to the Top funding. Governor Doyle, State Superintendent Tony Evers and Milwaukee Common Council President Willie Hines made the announcement today in Milwaukee and renewed the call to move forward meaningful reform in Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS).

Now, a month later, Milwaukee has announced the opening of a corporate charter school deal with Lighthouse Academies, a CMO funded by Gates. Without even trying to recruit professional teachers, the district announced the deal to include an arrangement with Teach for America to staff the school. Teach for America, funded by Gates et al, is notorious for hiring freshly graduated college students, who according to its eligibility requirements cannot be education majors or teachers, to staff his favored corporate schools. We think every child deserves a professional teacher. It should be noted on every child’s standardized test whether or not he/she was taught by a professional. We suggest voiding scores of students with failing scores if they were taught by someone with no real teacher training.

Most people have the perception that The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a worthy philanthropic organization and maybe it is in some ways, but not in education. I wish Bill Gates would choose another cause for his giving or at least change his approach to include and respect educators. I suggest he instead embrace the business community and spend his billions on putting people back to work so they can make money. He has considerable expertise in that vocation. He has no expertise in education. Although the public perceives his contributions to education as generous, they are actually self-serving, and they harm poor children and the teaching profession.