If nothing else, their mission statement is more direct:
The mission of the NYC Teaching Collaborative is to recruit and prepare talented, committed individuals to become effective teachers who dedicate themselves to raising student achievement and driving change in New York City's highest-need schools.
In other words, we need some people who will get test scores up. And "despite success in raising the overall quality of our teaching force, many schools in our highest need communities still struggle to attract and retain highly effective educators."
Now, some people might conclude that when you have trouble attracting and retaining people for a particular job, there might be a problem with the job-- how it's compensated, the working conditions, something. But NYC schools have apparently concluded that they simply aren't getting the right class of people for the job.
And where do you go when you need a better quality of job applicant? Why, Craigslist, of course.
Yes, the NYC school system, through the NYC Teaching Collaborative, is advertising for teachers on Craigslist. Well, not necessarily teachers, exactly.
Become a NYC Teacher - no experience required!
The program goes TFA one better in its quest to turn non-teachers into teaching gold. Candidates complete a six-month spring residency followed by a six-weeks summer program, followed by their own classroom. The program's goal is to provide "an accelerated path to the classroom that feels comprehensive rather than rushed."
The Craigslist ad says that each trainee is provided with an experienced teacher called a Collaborative Coach, however the City's own website says the trainee will work with either an experienced teacher OR a Collaborative Coach. That's a distinction I'd probably want to have cleared up.
Applicants are "meticulously" selected, though no specific requirements of any sort are listed; participants are described repeatedly as talented, dedicated, and hard-working. The program comes with a $13K stipend for the training period, and while there is no guarantee of a job, so far the program has 100% placement. Participants also commit to giving four years to a NYC high needs school.
NYC is a hotbed of alternative paths to teacherdom, and this program from the city school system does not challenge TFA for the criminal underpreparation crown. But kudos for looking for future professionals the 21st Century way. The ad does have one problem, however-- the inspiring photo at the header includes the slogan "Train for a year. Teach for a lifetime." They may want to wait until Campbell Brown's anti-tenure lawsuit is settled before they make those kind of crazy promises.