Fired Kansas City teachers defend their performance in front of union

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Non-tenured teachers have a chance to defend their record Monday, after 115 of them got pink slips from the Kansas City, Missouri School District last week.

The head of the Teachers Union, Andrea Flinders, urged anyone with good test scores and positive evaluations to meet at Union Hall at 39th and Main at 4:30 p.m.  Flinders saw a standing room only crowd of teachers and supporters.

"These are good teachers, why are they getting rid of good teachers.  It doesn't make sense," said Flinders.

Last week, the district told the teachers they would be out of a job after the school year wraps up.  The district blamed the layoffs on a projected $37 million budget shortfall and said the group of teachers had poor test scores and evaluations. 

An accusation Flinders denies.

"Some of these teachers have really good performance reviews, that's why I asked them to bring the reviews to me so I can forward them to the school board," said Flinders.

150 "Teach for America" educators will fill the vacant spots. "Teach for America" is a nationwide non-profit organization that recruits and trains college graduates to teach in the classroom.  The organization currently as 30 educators in the KCMO school district.

"We go into low income, under performing schools and try to eliminate the performance gap," said Alicia Herald, the Teach for America, executive director.

Flinders plans to take the performance reviews to the school board members on Wednesday and fight the terminations.

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