SEATTLE-- Hired to inspire change in an academically challenged school, a Teach for America alum is leaving her job after just one year.
It's just one move fueling critics who are unhappy with the recent partnership between Teach for America and Seattle Public Schools.
Teach For America is a highly competitive organization that recruits recent college grads into teaching at struggling schools. Seattle Public Schools contracted with TFA and promises to consider recruits for the next school year. But they are not required to hire any of them.
Critics say Teach for America recruits are under-qualified and unlikely to stay in the profession for the long haul.
I sought out a school where the achievement gap was pretty much at its worst, said Chrissie Wright, the former fourth grade teacher at West Seattle Elementary. After just one year, Wright is leaving her teaching job to work in her church.
I call it a happy sad decision, she said.
I think each person brings with them their own talents and skills and I don't thinkTFA necessarily qualifies somebody as an excellent teacher, said West Seattle Elementary Principal Vicki Sacco.
West Seattle Elementary's designation as a merit school afforded them three teachers from TFA. The other two have no plans to leave.
Federal Way and Tacoma schools are considering partnerships with TFA.