June 06, 2007
The St. Louis Cardinals isn't the only organization in town striking out on a regular basis--the city's school system is whiffing a lot these days, too. As if they hadn't done enough damage (see here), school board members now want Superintendent Diana Bourisaw to terminate the district's recently renewed contract with Teach for America. Here's their stated reasoning (although with a state takeover of the district looming, one wonders if the school board doesn't have more nefarious motives): Why pay for 90 young teachers who are committed for just two years when veteran teachers are facing reassignment or job loss because of declining enrollment and shrinking budgets? Well, here's why. When the game's on the line, you want your best player at the plate. And TFA is that player. Administrators and other teachers like the TFA Corps members, and district officials hail their track record of improving student performance. Bourisaw hasn't made a decision yet, but we're worried about what she might do. (Younger teachers nationwide are often the first to go when money's tight, as happened recently in Dayton.) Sure, TFA may not save St. Louis's schools, but why bench your star when the game is on the line? Even embattled Cardinal's manager Tony LaRussa knows better than that.
"St. Louis schools may oust Teach for America," by Steve Giegerich, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 4, 2007