Seattle School Board votes 6-1 in favor of Teach for America teachers
Last night the Seattle School Board voted 6-1 to allow only 20 Teach for America candidates to apply for teaching positions in the Seattle Public Schools. School principals will now be able to include a few Teach for America teachers in the pool to fill one of 200 expected open teaching positions.
The Seattle teachers union steadfastly opposes allowing Seattle's school principals to interview a teacher trained by Teach for America.
School principals are forced by teacher credential laws to hire only candidates who have first fulfilled the requirements of a traditional school of education program. Teachers union leaders see to it that these laws which restrict principals are maintained. These rules ban many talented bright, young people from teaching. For example, in Washington there are 240,000 people with bachelor degrees in math and science knowledge, but because they do not have a union-approved certification, they are not allowed to apply for teaching jobs.
Private schools are allowed to hire Teach for America teachers and talented math and science and other professionals without restriction. It is only fair that public school principals enjoy the same privilege. It is unfair to deny public school students access to the best available teachers.
It's a baby step, but it is good day in Seattle when school board members vote to allow Teach for America teachers to be interviewed. All the research shows that the quality of a teacher is the single most important factor for student learning. Allowing Teach for America is a first step to providing Seattle's students with only the best available teachers.