I have to do some more parsing of Wash DC Supt Michelle Rhee's appearance on Charlie Rose Monday night but check it out and won't you just love that little anecdote of the TFA 2nd year teacher who sat in the burger joint buying kids burgers and helping them with their calculus while his colleagues were more interested in their pay checks and chided him for making them look bad by working so hard. Will he stay she asked him? He's not sure. Is that because of the 14 hour days and spending part of a meager pay check on burgers? Nahh! It's because of his colleagues' attitudes. Let's change that good ole school culture. But wait a minute! How did these dregs manage to get the Washington DC scores up so much? I mean, Rhee hasn't even gotten to fire them yet or get her end of tenure contract in place. Imagine how those scores will soar then: End of achievement gap in DC on the way.
In the meantime, check out The Daily Howler's 4 part series on Wendy Kopp's appearance on Rose which reports:
Kopp herself received a salary of $250,736 in 2005, the last year for which such data are available—though this fact is almost never mentioned in profiles or interviews (including Dillon’s.) Six other TFA executives received salaries ranging from $125,000 to $202,000 in 2006.
Whatever! For that $120 million annual outlay, Kopp and her staff of more than 800 recruited roughly 3700 teachers this past year—teachers whose salaries are paid by the school systems which employ them. In short, Teach for America spends roughly $32,000 per teacher just to send its young hires to their schools. That strikes us as an astounding amount, though we’re willing to see our reaction challenged. And of course, you might not mind burning through that kind of money—if the program in question really worked.Wow! You really can get rich in education. What a country.
I think I actually saw some real teachers en Rose last week. Not exactly your average middle of the bell curve types - more like all teachers of the year, a very special kind of cat. You know the drill - we want a teacher of the year in every classroom in America - and then we'll talk about reducing class size. But then again why would we have to with a quality teacher in every class we can pump em up to 50. Even pay them for every extra kid they take over 40.