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Los Angeles Unified School District Should Rescind 'Teach For America' Contract

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Please Sign The Petition Here (even if you don't live in Los Angeles): LAUSD: Rescind the TFA Contract

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This petition is to urge the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) school board to immediately rescind its contract with Teach for America (TFA) for special education services. Our most vulnerable students deserve the most qualified professionals possible.

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LAUSD ratified a contract with Teach For America to provide trainees to fill 25 teaching positions in special education at its November 10, 2015, board meeting. There was no debate on the matter; it was hidden in the consent calendar with attachments of attachments buried deep.

LAUSD should cancel the contract that pays Teach for America to recruit untrained interns to teach our vulnerable special education students. LAUSD should identify reputable programs to recruit graduates and student teachers who are committed to the teaching profession, to our schools and our students.

While Board member Dr. George McKenna raised important questions about TFA's retention rate and its commitment to our students, the answers he was provided were misleading because they rely on unchecked data from TFA itself, according to a report in American Prospect (1/5/2015). The fact is that 87% of TFA recruits plan to leave teaching after their internships end, according to a recent article in Bloomberg News (3/9/2015). LAUSD was only the most recent stop by TFA on a statewide campaign over the last few months making the same claims about the need for special ed TFA'ers. Most school districts from Chula Vista to Santa Ana resisted the sales pitch after a public outcry. But those districts held actual discussions about the controversial contracts with TFA.

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LAUSD senior staff needs to go back to the drawing board to create partnerships with reputable teaching programs to recruit teachers who will be qualified on Day 1 and are likely to remain committed to the teaching profession.

TFA is one of the tools that Eli Broad is using to attack our schools and undermine the very fabric of the public school system in Los Angeles (his foundation is a top funder of TFA). Our elected leaders just endorsed undermining public education by approving this contract. It should be rescinded immediately.

We are a coalition of public education advocates that includes:

Tina Andres, Santa Ana Unified teacher and special education parent
Jameson Brewer, Ph.D. candidate, former TFA
Anthony Cody, co-founder/board member Network for Public Education
Josh Leibner, National Board Certified Teacher
Cynthia Liu, K-12 News Network
Ellen Lubic, Joining Forces for Education
Carl Petersen, Change the LAUSD
Sari Rynew, retired teacher
Robert D. Skeels, Juris Doctor Candidate and public education advocate
Julian Vasquez Heilig, Ph.D., Cloaking Inequity/Education Chair, California NAACP/board member, Network for Public Education
Karen Wolfe, PSconnect

Please Sign The Petition Here (even if you don't live in Los Angeles): LAUSD: Rescind the TFA Contract

 

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As a father of five, I have personally seen what happens when the LAUSD's massive bureaucracy stands in the way of our students. In my case, the district made me fight for the services that my daughters' teachers agreed they required. I knew (more...)
 

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