You know the economy is doing poorly when top college graduates, who used to coordinate corporate strike breaking activities (barging through picket lines is for the little people), are now serving as surplus labor used to bust unions. From Chicago (boldface mine):
The layoffs come about a month after 850 other employees were laid off — 545 of them teachers — mostly due to the closure of 48 schools.
They include teachers, teacher assistants, clerks, technology coordinators, instructional aides, lunchroom workers and security guards.
Some of the teachers could be replaced by Teach For America recruits, as the district has committed to more than doubling its investment in the TFA program that trains college graduates for five weeks then sends them into schools for two years at a time. The Board of Education voted to increase its payment to TFA from $600,000 to nearly $1.6 million, and to add up to 325 new TFA recruits to CPS classrooms, in addition to 270 second year “teacher interns”.
TFA spokeswoman Becky O’Neill said about 200 of the new recruits are destined for charters, the rest to interview for openings in neighborhood schools.
“We’re looking forward to getting more information and better understanding how all of this impacts the schools and principals with whom we partner,” she said.
Sharkey denounced CPS’ TFA placements “at the same time it’s laying off veterans. This is an organization who started out saying their mission was to serve underserved children with a teachers shortage. There’s no longer a teacher shortage.”
We’ve discussed the union-busting aspect before, so it’s not surprising. But the utter lack of shame is over the top, even for education reformers.
But really, it’s all about the kids.
An aside: Anyone who says that they’re for ‘education reform’, just not as implemented by these reformers, is a lot like those who thought invading Iraq could be done ‘the right way’ and bring freedom to the Middle East. The goal never was the reform of education–though the useful idiots give useful cover.