Board approval of Teach for America trainees was a tough fight

I’m a TFA teacher, and I’m getting what I need (MPR Photo/Tim Post)

Crystal Brakke, executive director of Teach for America in the Twin Cities, tells MPR reporter Tim Post about this year’s crop of trainees:

“I think this group is among the best prepared and strongest right out of the gate in terms of what I saw them doing with their kids over the summer.”

The Minnesota Board of Teaching has so far allowed more than a dozen trainees to work without a license after less than two months of training. They’ll be able to earn full certification while on the job.

Although TFA has received such licensing waivers in past years, Post reports it has been much more difficult to receive them this year.

The union has staunchly opposed the organization’s activities in Minnesota.

Education Minnesota President Denise Specht told Post why the union has a dim view of TFA trainees:

“When you have somebody on your team that you’re worried about — whether they’re prepared or whether they have the tools that are necessary to do well — that’s a concern to everyone.”

TFA is trying to team up with the University of Minnesota for a teacher-preparation program, which has upset some students, who say they’re opposed to Teach for America’s training methods.

You can read Post’s story here.