In Chicago, there have already been over 400 homicides this year and the violence in the city is so out-of-control that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has begged gangs to keep away from the children.

Related to the area’s chaos is a case that proves Teachers Union leaders can be innovative –  when it comes to assigning blame for their failures. 

The Daily Caller writer Eric Owens has a report about Chicago’s union chief blaming a special program that trains effective teachers for inner city areas as a contributing factor the the recent Connecticut massacre.

Only days after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the head of the nation’s third-largest teachers union is blaming Teach For America for helping “kill and disenfranchise children.”

Karen Lewis, head of the Chicago Teachers Union, bashed the national organization and one of its vice presidents, David Rosenberg, in a message that appears on the blog of educational policy analyst Diane Ravitch.

“We in Chicago have been the victims of their experiments on our children since the current secretary of Education ‘ran’ CPS,” Lewis writes, calling Teach For America a group of “education missionaries” who view teaching in poor communities as a “stepping stone to a more lucrative career.”br

Lewis admits she is using the Sandy Hook tragedy to advance the agenda of her union.

“There might have been a time where ‘politicizing’ tragic events, especially mass shootings, was thought to be in poor taste,” Lewis said. “That has changed with the 24/7 news cycle that continues to focus far too much time and energy on the perpetrator of the massacre than that of our precious victims.”

Lewis’ comments were caught by “Eduwonk” Andrew J. Rotherham. It seems the Chicago chief was defending a blogger who was using “Sandy Hook Elementary to make points about teachers unions, charter schools, teacher evaluations and other issues that have nothing to do with the tragedy.”

Rotherham offers some background on “Teach for America” (TFA) that shows there is good reason for the head of the union in charge of an area of vast educational failure to be concerned:

Again and again, the most rigorous studies show that TFA’s selection process and boot-camp training produce teachers who are as good, and sometimes better, than non-TFA teachers, including those who have been trained in traditional education schools and those who have been teaching for decades. “The weight of the evidence suggests that TFA teachers as a whole are at least as effective as other teachers in the schools they end up in,” says University of Washington economist Dan Goldhaber, one of the nation’s leading researchers on teacher effectiveness. Another solid indicator? The marketplace. Superintendents and principals, who are on the hook for results, can’t get enough TFA teachers.


 
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