Since I’ve blogged about both the Teach for America program and the National Education Association convention, I thought I’d post this article about the NEA’s criticisms of Teach for America, and the TFA response.

Readers of this blog know that I am sympathetic to alternative certification programs, and that, indeed, I entered the teaching profession via that route myself. But what really lies at the heart of this dispute, I suspect, is less disagreement about how we should certify teachers – although that remains a huge issue – than competition in a shrinking job market. For most of the past decade education jobs have increased at a rate well above the increase in enrollment. Whatever one thinks of this trend, often driven by an understandable desire to keep down class sizes, but also fueled by increases in administrative positions and costs, the era of rising teacher employment is clearly coming to an end. So the stakes are now a lot higher. The same budget pressures also add urgency, and angst, to the debates over teacher evaluation systems that make it easier for school districts to fire teachers based on (alleged) performance, as opposed to seniority.

Here’s the link:

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