Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cracks in the TFA Armor

Interesting article in the Florida Times Union, "Low Teach For America retention rate but Duval embraces program", about the issues the are having with teacher retention.  Of the original 55 teachers in 2008, 47 completed their 2 year commitment but only 6 still teach in the district schools. In 2009 42 of 54 completed the 2 years but only 12 stayed - improvement but still a lot to invest to have to continually replace every year.  

"We're not anti-TFA ...," said James Goode, who oversees teacher recruitment for Hillsborough County Public Schools. "It's just not in the best interest of our district to spend money like that in these lean times.

When there were server teacher shortages TFA and other alt cert programs were a great way to ensure that more students had a chance at great teaching.  Now the shortage is gone, money is tight, the cost of TFA continues to rise and it may be time to look at investing those dollars in recruiting teachers into great teaching programs and creating a great environment so they will stay.