I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Corporate "Reformers" Make Teaching a Temp Job

Boy, isn't this corporate "reform" stuff great? It's turning teaching into a totally awesome, highly coveted job!

Kate Renkosiak (pictured) started work this fall as a new science teacher at Wexler/Grant, a K-8 “turnaround” school in Dixwell. She landed the job through Teach For America (TFA), a leading national not-for-profit that lures talented young people into urban classrooms on a mission to narrow the racial achievement gap.

Kate Renkosiak replaced Kait Shorrock, was also a TFA recruit. Shorrock was one of 16 TFA corps members to join the New Haven public school system in the fall of 2010. Of those 16, 12 left the public school district after fulfilling their two-year commitment, according to TFA’s statewide director, Nate Snow. Four stuck around at district schools. Six kept teaching at low-income schools outside of New Haven. In the fall of 2010, TFA also placed 15 recruit in Achievement First charter schools; eight of them remain in those schools, he said.
Just wait: I'm sure the low pay, low prestige, degrading work conditions, and deunionization will chase the rest out soon enough...

Oh, I'm being so unfair! That's just one district! Clearly, awesome people are lining up to become teachers now that charterization and TFA and general reforminess are bringing the awesome into urban districts!


Over the summer Muskegon Heights schools’ then emergency manager laid off everybody who worked at the district and hired Mosaica Education to run operations for 5 years.

Muskegon Heights has some of the lowest performing schools in Michigan and is dealing with a multi-million dollar deficit. The state appointed manager says he had no other option but to privatize operations.
Three months in, one in four (20 of 80 total) of the newly hired teachers has quit.
“It’s confusing because I go from this learning process to this learning process to that learning process and it’s just ridiculous how some teachers leave and we have to start all over and learn something new,” Muskegon Heights High School senior Tony Harris said, “It’s just, it’s crazy.”
Hey kid. suck it up: chances are that when you start working for corporate America, you'll have no idea who your boss is in any given year. We're just training you for the future...

The reformyists who worked to turn teaching into a temp job are finally starting to see their labors bear fruit: the churn has begun. That was the key to de-professionalizing teaching: making it a temporary vocation. After all, no less an expert than Justice Sonia Sotomayor has told us a career "is something you plan on doing for a long time":

Sorry, Abby Cadabby: in a little while - unless we stand up and stop this stupidity - teaching will no longer be a career. I hear, however, there's a bright future in sucking up to rich people and handing out money to political candidates. Maybe you should wave your magic wand and conjure up a hedge fund manager or two to help you on your new career path...

Hey, did youse say sumthin' 'bout a magic wand?

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