The New Teacher Project Is Recruiting Teachers With Craigslist Ads In Michigan

Wednesday , 12, November 2014 19 Comments

If you’re like me, an unemployed school teacher with years of experience in the classroom yet can’t find a job, it probably seems odd to see an ad like this appearing anywhere in Michigan. This state lays off teachers every year thanks to Rick Snyder cutting a billion dollars from our K-12 budget while raising the cap on for-profit charter schools. They in turn leach tax dollars from the public schools and transform it into profits for the private sector.

So why is this ad in Michigan of all places? Don’t they know there is no shortage of teachers for the jobs in this state, and in fact really great teachers are being forced out of their chosen profession? On top of that, new teachers in Michigan leave their college and the state to find a full time job teaching in another state because there are no jobs here. Once again, Rick Snyder’s economic policies have stifled job growth to the point that we have had zero improvement since he took office in 2011.

This ad is listed on Lansing’s Craigslist because Michigan Teacher Corps is a front for The New Teacher Project. TNTP is the organization of former TFA recruit and education reform lobbyist Michelle Rhee. She started TNTP as a spin off of Teach For America with a similar mission, which is train people and call them teachers, then put them in schools and take jobs away from professional, traditionally educated teachers. Anyone who wants to be a “teacher” signs up for TFA or TNTP and goes through a 5 week training course in the summer, then they are placed in a for-profit charter school or other for-profit education venture, such as John Engler’s K-12 Online Education that you see tons of ads for in the summer in Michigan. Now that Michigan is a freedom to freeload state, these “teachers” will enter the teaching workforce as non-unionized teachers.

The New Education Project does more than just take jobs away from real teachers, they’re also one of the loudest voices for merit pay and consequences (like losing your job) based on teacher evaluations, tied into Arne Duncan’s Common Core State Standards. Common Core is now firmly in place in Michigan, thanks to Rick Snyder and Republicans making it and high stakes testing used for teacher evaluations part of Michigan’s school landscape.

Michigan Teacher Corps is not answering the call of desperate public schools unable to put teachers in classrooms, this venture is designed to put even more real teachers out of a job.

19 thoughts on “ : The New Teacher Project Is Recruiting Teachers With Craigslist Ads In Michigan”
  • Matt says:

    So I went through this program in Chicago (Chicago Teaching Fellows) and the details of this article are sort of a half truth. The program is much longer than 5 weeks and is much more rigorous than most would think. They also have increased their threshold for certifying teachers. In Chicago and in NYC, this program is basically a part of the public school system and very few program participants end up in charter schools.

    That being said I have no idea why this program would be needed in Michigan. There must be thousands of qualified teachers looking for jobs there.

    • Up North Progressive says:

      TNTP is an offshoot of TFA. There may be some differences, but the purpose for these teacher certification programs are the same. They are designed to push out teachers who have gone through an accredited degree program and spent time in the classroom before they are certified to teach. These alternative certification programs are designed to break up the teacher’s union.

      Michigan has more than enough teachers. Most new teachers leave the state after graduation, because there are no jobs here. Teachers with years of experience and graduate degrees can’t find jobs because school budgets in Michigan are cut to the bone and schools can’t afford to hire teachers, even if they are desperately needed.

      So when it’s a fact Michigan has more teachers than jobs available, why would TNTP advertise on Craigslist of all places?

    • Karen says:

      I have 3 Master’s degrees which includes a MS in Ed. This is a TWO year degree. Please don’t talk about rigor of your lack of training. This is the way the politicians to hoodwink the people that their children are being educated while they steal the money from real education.

      • Matt says:

        HI Karen,
        Once again I am not necessarily endorsing this program. I was merely pointing out that this post is not representing the entirety of the program. Please see my other response below.

        P.S. I also have a Master’s degree, in science even…with journal publications. Does that make my post more credible?

  • realteacher says:

    What you call rigorous does not compare to years of study and experience that real, qualified teachers bring to the table. Don`t fool yourself, Matt. This article summarizes my experience, and that of many other TRUE professionals, exactly.

    • Matt says:

      I don’t necessarily support the program, but everyone has to be a first year teacher at some point. So the goal of the program was geared towards getting people up to a first year standard, not to the level of a 10 year veteran teacher. So my comment was to the point that this article mis-characterizes the program as being a 5 week training only, which then funnels people directly into charter schools–this was not the case in Chicago at all. Summer training was day long for 15+ weeks and then support in the classroom along with seminars continued all throughout the first year, also very few people ended up in charter schools (maybe 2% of the students). My personal experience was that other traditionally trained teachers on several occasions told me that I seemed like I was at least a second year teacher, once again no where near someone with 10 years of experience but it felt like I was doing well. In the end, regardless of training it was obvious that my principal was going to get rid of me and some other teachers. I was also sick of wasting much of my time trying to prove to administrators that I was attempting to do my job through the evaluation process, when all I could think of was how I could use this time to actually get better and teach better. No other job puts so much of the “burden of proof” on their employees and it’s true that younger-ish people like me who have always been involved with education will continue to be involved, but in some other sort of tangential job or profession.

      So please don’t mistake my correction of facts as an endorsement for the program. But keep in mind here that there were many other entities supporting the program: the Public school administrators, principals, other teachers, the cities, the states, etc. We need to pressure those people to not support these programs. The program will only go away if the support for it dissolves.

      Also, I apologize for not being a TRUE professional by your implication. I have been a science professional for 10 years and taught at the university level before I entered the program, as it offered the least restrictive way for me to enter secondary education.

      As an aside, I often feel sort of caught in the middle. Because I do think that there are people like me capable of making the switch, and who have a lot of experience in the field to offer students. However, I’m not sure of what the answer should be for those type of people to get into education. Additionally, I don’t think that every state and city are necessarily the correct educational climate to train and assimilate those types of people, especially such a teacher heavy state like Michigan. But I do also think it’s unfair to just assume that anybody who wasn’t “traditionally trained” is incapable of being a teacher.

  • K N Berg says:

    Michelle Rhee is one of the leaders who believes students can be well-served by “instant teachers”.
    No two students are alike, and therefore need to be taught by a highly skilled teacher, someone with compassion, experience, and great desire to teach. Watch out what happens to Public Education. The DIVIDE that is being fostered here leads to a class society, schools where opportunities will be even more different for each student than is true for today.

  • Carolyn says:

    Where did you find the information that this is a part of TNTP? The only information I’ve been able to locate indicates that Michigan Teacher Corps was brought to us by the Michigan Department of Education. I was immediately saddened by the obvious TFA model but couldn’t find any info on profits or the people running the show.

  • Annie says:

    And then at the bottom of our comments is an ad targeted at teachers “tired of paying union dues.” It is unfortunate to have something like that on Up North Progressive’s blog/page.

  • lkleyrer says:

    The state’s ultimate goal is to make money and break unions. This, in the not so long term, accomplishes both.

  • Steve says:

    I was curious if you will apply for any of these position, and if not why?

    Thank You

    • Up North Progressive says:

      What positions? I’ve been subbing since I was laid off for three years now. More teachers are being laid off every year due to Rick Snyder’s $1 billion school budget cuts.

      If TNTP is recruiting people to become “teachers” it is because they intend to take jobs away from real professionals in a budget cutting measure. Education professionals already have a number of job recruitment websites specifically for education. No teacher looks for a teaching job on Craigslist. The fact that ad was listed there shows they are looking for people who are not teachers.

  • Steve says:

    What positions?

    Well, this part is on the page you posted. “MTC is currently accepting applications for individuals interested in becoming certified teachers, and will launch the application for newly certified and veteran teachers in December.” So I thought you might want to apply for a teaching position as it seems you are a veteran teacher and the students could really use your expertise.

    Also since you advertise as a “news” site I thought you might want to get the facts right. The “$1 billion school budget cut is false” fact check from the Detroit Free Press here http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/27/fact-check-snyder-increased-school-funding/18025055/.

    Please note this part of the article “Cuts to federal stimulus funding of about $500 million accounted for all of that, and state funding for K-12 had actually gone up,” Why no blame for the Obama Administration for the $500M cut in federal money. Of course the President can make the country go in deficit for funding but the Governor can not since it is against the State’s constitution.

    Perhaps some of the teacher positions reductions are related to the decrease in students in the state of Michigan. Michigan has had a reduction of over 150,000 students in the last 10 years, fact check here https://www.mischooldata.org/DistrictSchoolProfiles/StudentInformation/StudentCounts/StudentCount.aspx.

    It looks like several of the substitute teachers web sites are run by “for profit” company’s? Have you every used a for profit substitute company for a position before? It appears that you are against any for profit company in Michigan eduction.

    To me it sounds like you will not apply for a full time teaching position since the job was advertised on Craig’s list? Is that correct?

    • Up North Progressive says:

      I apply for positions that actually exist. TNTP is looking for people who are not teachers to train them in one of their crash programs and call them teachers. These people will be in direct competition with professional teachers who are already teaching.

      Snyder absolutely did cut school funding by $1 billion. The Detroit News is a Republican slanted newspaper. I watched papers in the state all report that Snyder cut a billion from school funds in 2011, but backpedal during the election to say he didn’t. He did, and that is a fact. http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/05/michigan_house_approves_massiv.html

      President Obama, despite my approving of most things he has done for the country has proven not to be a friend of professional teachers or public ed. He thinks charter schools are a good idea and his education secretary, Arne Duncan, also pushes for VAM, incessant testing, and thinks the EAA is a good thing.

      Teacher reductions lately have been because of budget cuts. Have you been in a classroom recently? Classroom sizes are enormous while next door a classroom sits empty because the teacher is gone. Enrollment in public schools is down because of the aggressive pushing of for-profit charter schools and online education (John Engler owns about 10,000 shares of K-12 Online stock). People are leaving the state because of lack of jobs, but that is not the sole reason for enrollment at public schools being lower than in the past.

      How does one apply for a teaching position that doesn’t exist? TNTP is recruiting potential candidates for their program. They do not have jobs for everyone who answers that ad.

  • Steve says:

    Thanks for the link.

    Here is a link to the Detroit Free Press a Democraticly slanted paper which notes that $520 million was lost do to federal budget cuts and also notes that as more revenue came in that year more was actually spent than originally proposed while the previous year “Grahnolm’s” budget was over estimated and under paid by $180M of the original proposal. Wow, that is $700M dollars that Snyder had been blamed to “cut” that was not actually State of Michigan budgetted money?

    http://www.factcheck.org/2014/06/playing-politics-with-education/

    It sure sounded when you started this article to blame Michigan’s Republicans only for this issue. But now it appears that you do not only blame Republics but also the President’s politics on this as well. I can agree with more of your comments if they not one sided blame, because they results are bigger than one party working.

    I hope you find a teaching job that you really enjoy soon. It is my wish and my prayer for you.

    Peace be with you

    • Up North Progressive says:

      The Detroit Free Press and News are both owned by Gannett, a corporation held by Republicans. The media are as liberal as the Republicans who own them.

      President Obama is not a friend to teachers. I know that very well. We’re fighting CCSS, VAM and the incessant standardized testing his secretary of education, Arne Duncan, is very comfortable meeting with Republicans such as Rick Snyder and Jeb Bush to plan the corporatist take over of Public education. TNTP is part of that corporate plan. This is why I know MTC is not a program to help professional teachers, but a way to bring in people and plug them into what the corporate reformers want.

  • […] should be no surprise that Michelle Rhee’s Michigan Teacher Corps, which is actually part of her organization The New Teacher Project, or TNTP as they want to be known as now, works with the EAA to hire […]

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