Just one month after Seattle Public Schools revealed that southeast Seattle is plagued by failing or “low-performing” schools, a group of parents and community members wants to stop the district from bringing a national program designed to help struggling students to Seattle.
Teach for America recruits top college graduates and places them in low-performing schools for two-year contracts, and last month the Seattle School Board voted to bring the program here.
But Teach for America detractors are concerned that the teachers don’t have traditional certifications when they start teaching, but earn them along the way. The teachers union also says the program will take jobs away from other Seattle teachers.
The lawsuit – filed at King County Courthouse by SPS parents Joan Sias and Cecilia Palao-Vargas and two community groups, argues that the School Board’s vote to allow Teach for America violates No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and that the program’s recruits do not meet the legislation’s requirement that all teachers in Title I schools be “highly qualified” and hold full state certification.