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November 17, 2008

The Benefits of Too Many Teachers

In an earlier post, I discussed the curious fact that there is an oversupply of teachers in NYC.  This past weekend, on a panel at a Teach For America alumni summit, Vicki Bernstein, the Executive Director of Teacher Recruitment and Quality for the New York City Department of Education, confirmed this fact.  She pointed out the upside of the situation: the DOE can be more selective in future teacher placements.  This is great news, but unfortunately it will only apply to the small number of new open positions.  Imagine if NYC could actually get rid of ineffective teachers and replace them with the most promising new candidates.  The exciting evolution of public school education would become a revolution.

Meanwhile, Wendy Kopp, the world-changing founder of TFA, announced that new teacher applications for this year are up 50% (yes, 50%) over last year.  Where will they put all of those talented young teachers? 


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It is always painful to hear that NYC (and almost all other public school districts) cannot, without ridiculous effort, get rid of ineffective teachers. I know its true. And I know its the root cause of the public school system's ills. But it is always painful to hear it. Its just saddening ...

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