On Friday, Aug. 2, the Minnesota Board of Teaching did a 180 and granted incoming Teach For America educators waivers to teach!
Leading up to this vote, local schools serving high-needs kids had never before faced such hurdles in the way of hiring talented, diverse teachers. Those schools and the community had just weeks to respond.
And your voice was heard.
Several thousand Minnesotans took a stand and told the Board of Teaching that we should give principals flexibilities–not more red tape–to hire the teachers they deem best fit to serve their students.
Great teachers come from many backgrounds. And as evidenced by last Friday’s vote, public input can sway leaders to do what’s best for kids. Because every child deserves access to a highly effective teacher.
This spring the Minnesota Legislature approved an appropriation of $1.5 million to help Twin Cities principals staff hard-to-fill teaching jobs in poverty-stricken neighborhoods with more Teach For America educators.
The legislature’s bipartisan vote was a testament to the commitment that TFA teachers bring to the marginalized communities in which they work. However, the education establishment flexed its political muscles and successfully worked to crush the appropriation–just because TFA isn't part of the status quo.
It doesn’t end there.
In June, the Gov. Dayton-appointed Board of Teaching rescinded the waiver it has typically granted to provide new TFA teachers with their licenses. Board of Teaching members have allowed politics to leave more than 1,500 Twin Cities kids in limbo about whether or not they’ll learn from these 43 highly effective teachers. Local principals have hired TFA teachers for four years, counting on them to fill positions in some of our highest-needs schools. Now, just weeks before the start of the school year, the Board of Teaching reversed its course.
Why is the education establishment picking on TFA?
Tell Board of Teaching Chair John Bellingham and Gov. Dayton that they can make this right by approving licenses for these teachers.
Most importantly, they can make this right by standing up for what they believe in–supporting our highest-potential students and a critical program that serves them.