Looking a gift horse in the mouth?

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It was a close call in Seattle when the school board voted last week to continue its Teach For America partnership.   Community activists voiced concerns over the quality of the TFA teachers - all six of them - who have been in the Seattle district for just one year, likening the program to an "experiment" on students.  Additional concerns were raised about the cost to the district for placing each TFA teacher, but those costs ($4,000 per teacher) are currently covered by The Seattle Foundation.  Board members who voted in favor of the program pointed out that one year is hardly enough time to judge a new program and that the partnership has the support of some principals.  That TFA teachers get results is backed up by a Mathematica study which showed significant progress in students of TFA teachers compared with students of non-TFA teachers, particularly in math.

Susan Douglas