Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Ohio's teachers, are you ready to give up your jobs to these '5 Week Wonders?'

From John Curry, June 6, 2012
Governor Kasich and those in his circle think so! After all...where else can you take a 5 week crash course on how to become a teacher and find yourself in a paid position in an Ohio public school with a valid Ohio teaching certificate?
How can this be? Ask those in the Ohio Republican party....a party which was responsible for promoting TFA (Teach For America) and the changes to Ohio law that now allow this to take place.
"Neale said the corps members will earn the same salary as any beginning teacher in the school at which they are hired, and will be alternatively certified to teach in the state of Ohio."
Teach For America members get 1st look at Dayton
By Jill Kelley, June 5, 2012
DAYTON — More than 30 Teach for America corps members started studying in Atlanta this week, days after visiting the Dayton region as part of their “induction” into the local educational landscape.
“This week really marks the beginning of our Southwest Ohio corps members’ Teach for America commitment,” Rebecca Neale, Teach for America spokeswoman, said Friday. “This was an induction week. Our corps members are learning more about the communities in which they’ll be teaching. They also are working with each other, and building relationships.”
TFA will debut in Ohio this fall as a result of legislation passed in 2011. The nonprofit organization recruits and develops corps members for two-year teaching positions at high-need schools and in needed subject areas.
The more than 30 members that visited last week will serve in either Dayton, Cincinnati or Covington, Ky., as part of TFA’s three-year commitment to place 90 teachers in the region.
Neale said the corps members will earn the same salary as any beginning teacher in the school at which they are hired, and will be alternatively certified to teach in the state of Ohio.
Critics of TFA cite the lack of a traditional four-year education degree for corps members, but it was noted that the members are provided with instructional coaches and online resources, are part of regional learning teams led by experienced teachers, and often take part in certification and master’s programs through university partnerships.
It also was mentioned that nearly two-thirds of the nearly 24,000 TFA alumni continue to work full time in education.
As part of their Dayton visit, corps members met with area students, local high school and university educators, parents and clergy, and spent time in the Oregon District.
The members also toured the Dayton Early College Academy, which is one of three charter systems in which the members will work, and began the interview process for teaching positions.
Superintendent Judy Hennessey said DECA plans to hire one of the two teachers who interviewed for the school’s open Spanish teaching position last week.
She said both candidates who interviewed for the job were very impressive.
“They were energetic, very inquisitive and ready to go; really pretty indicative of Teach for America,” Hennessey said. “They also were a pretty diverse group.”
TFA also is working with the Dayton Leadership Academy and National Heritage Academies.
In Atlanta, the corps members have just begun five weeks of intensive training at the TFA institute.
There, they’ll be teaching summer school and really delving into the mechanics of teaching: lesson planning and classroom management,” Neale said. “After Atlanta, they’ll come back up to Dayton.”
Once here, they will continue to interview as needed and prepare for their teaching positions in the fall.
Neale said that more than half of the more than 30 corps members who will teach in Southwest Ohio attended school in Ohio or Kentucky, and nearly 40 percent were raised and/or educated in Ohio.
Teach for America has been in existence since 1990 and has helped educate more than 3.5 million students.
Staff writer Kyle Nagel contributed to this report. Contact this reporter at (937) 225-7325 or
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