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For-Profit “Teachers for Tomorrow” Drops LA and UT, Adds NC, and Puts FL in Bargain Bin

July 29, 2018

On July 12, 2018, I wrote a post about a for-profit, online education business, Teachers of Tomorrow (TOT, heh) that purportedly credentials individuals with four-year college degrees to serve in the classrooms of states that allow online teacher cert absent any requirement that such teachers appear in person in a classroom in front of actual students prior to being hired as first-year teachers– at which time TOT hits those first-year teachers for several thousand dollars in fees for TOT’s virtual teacher prep.

TOT is clever to get its thousands in fees that first year (which TOT slyly terms an “internship”) since the clash between virtual training and K12 classroom reality might be too much for many of these TOTs.

At the time of my initial post, both Louisiana and Utah were among 11 states listed on the TOT website. However, Louisiana and Utah have since been removed from the list, with North Carolina added.

Unlike other state links, the link for North Carolina includes no pricing information; however, it does include a fill-in-the-blank section for prospective NC TOTs to “share your contact information” so that TOT can “keep you updated on this new state-approved licensure option.” (Note that the Virginia also lacks prices, which I remember seeing when writing my previous TOT post.)

Since my July 12, 2018, post, TOT has adjusted its pricing for Florida, which has apparently gone on sale (only $2700 taken from those first-year paychecks and not the usual $4K -$5K). According to the July 27, 2018, Orlando Sentinel, test-centrism and thin paychecks are the problem:

Educators say finding teachers has become tougher because relatively low pay and Florida’s controversial teacher evaluation system, tied to standardized tests, has discouraged some young adults from pursuing teaching careers. Those problems have also pushed some teachers to leave long before retirement.

…The pool of teaching candidates is shallower than it has been, and principals are sometimes re-advertising positions, a sign they aren’t happy with the quality of would-be teachers sent their way, said Boyd Karns, executive director of human resources for Seminole schools. …

The Orange school district, Central Florida’s largest, had about 140 open teaching positions listed on its website this week.

Note that the same Orlando Sentinel article includes the statement, “new teachers, no matter how well steeped in their subjects, tend to flounder and even leave, if they jump in with no classroom preparation.”

At least Florida can count on TOT teachers being obligated to at least the first year when they have to pay off the $2700 TOT fee.

Then, the turnover likely continues.

The fact that for-profit education businesses like TOT even have a niche bespeaks the lie that test-centric ed reform is any shade of a K12 solution.

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Want to read about the history of charter schools and vouchers?

School Choice: The End of Public Education? 

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Schneider is a southern Louisiana native, career teacher, trained researcher, and author of two other books: A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who In the Implosion of American Public Education and Common Core Dilemma: Who Owns Our Schools?. You should buy these books. They’re great. No, really.

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4 Comments
  1. Abigail Shure permalink

    A Recipe for Disaster

    Pay teachers starvation wages.

    Offer no real time classroom training.

    Encourage them to view teaching as a stepping stone to a real career.

  2. Threatened Out West permalink

    Glad Utah isn’t on this. I expect that no district in Utah would pay the extra fees for the teachers.

  3. The teachers pay, not the districts.

    • Threatened Out West permalink

      Sheesh. That’s even worse. Teachers don’t get a lot of money anywhere, but in Utah, it’s particularly bad.

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