City schools, avoid Teach for America

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Teach for America is wrong for Pittsburgh (“Pittsburgh Schools May Hire From Teach for America,” Nov. 9). It is from personal experience that I come to this conclusion.

I was a 2010 TFA Philadelphia corps member. I am currently teaching at a charter school. Pittsburgh Public Schools superintendent Linda Lane has stated she wants Teach for America for hard-to-fill positions where a diverse applicant pool is difficult to attract. If she is genuinely looking for a diverse applicant pool, then she should avoid the hype that is Teach for America.

With Teach for America, Pittsburgh is guaranteed a specific kind of teacher; one who is inexperienced, unqualified and poorly trained. Not only will the Pittsburgh district receive an influx of unqualified teachers, but a revolving door of inexperienced teachers working with the students who most need a highly qualified one will be opened. One must look no further than urban districts like Chicago, Philadelphia and Baltimore where TFA has set up shop to see that an invasion of bright, idealistic and hard-working 20-somethings do not have the answers our district is looking for.

My daughter started school this year in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. I believe she deserves the very best and I have seen great potential in PPS. When poor decisions like this are being made by our leadership, one cannot help but question their motives. We can all be sure of one thing: Schools located in our wealthiest suburbs, like Upper St. Clair and Fox Chapel, continue to seek well-qualified career teachers for their already advantaged students.

Park Place

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