TFA supporters say that the decline is in part because the job market is improving for college graduates, who constitute the majority of TFA recruits, but it is worth noting that high-performing students the organization seeks are usually not the young people who have a difficult time finding a job.
In any case, San Francisco is not the only place that is reconsidering its relationship with TFA. In 2014, for example, the school board in Durham, N.C., voted to end it — even though it had openings for teachers — because, as school board member Mike Lee was quoted as saying: “I have a problem with the two years and gone, using it like community service.” A year earlier, Pittsburgh public schools had decided not to bring in any new TFA members, and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) vetoed a line item inserted into the state’s higher education legislation that would have given $1.5 million to Teach for America over two years.
TFA released a statement about the news from San Francisco, which you can read here. It says in part:
We will continue to provide support and training for the cohort of TFA corps members currently in the midst of the first year of their commitments as they enter their second year of teaching, and we will continue to help Teach For America alumni moving to the city or region who are interested in teaching to connect to opportunities in the district. Schools may still hire our qualified candidates, and we’re open to considering alternative financial arrangements with interested schools given the dire shortages; however, we’re already working to meet significant demand from our charter partners within San Francisco and district partners throughout the Bay Area who acted quickly to provide this resource to their schools.
(Updating: Adding statement from TFA)