To almost no one’s surprise, the Pittsburgh School Board rescinded a deal with Teach For America that was approved by the previous board in a November lame-duck session.
The deal that would have spent $750,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to hire new district teachers from Teach For America was killed by the same 6-2 vote that initially approved it.
The contract would have allowed the district to hire up to 30 recruits a year for three years. Proponents of the move, including Superintendent of Schools Linda Lane, argued the New York-based company could provide a more racially diverse pool of candidates to work in schools that get almost no applicants.
Those opposed, including several current teachers who testified at a public hearing prior to the new vote, said the teach for America recruits did not receive enough training. School Board member Regina Holley, herself a former district principal, summed up those sentiments by referring to the recruits as “microwave teachers.”
Mark Brentley Sr. voted for it originally so he could bring it up again to vote against it in the new session.