For Teach for America, Boston seemed no different than the other 100 places it puts teachers. Arrange a deal with Boston Public Schools for bringing TFA to the city; decide that 19 TFA recruits would teach at the head of the class; sign a contract that says TFA recruits commit to two years of teaching and fall into a fast-track toward being rehired if they get laid off--standard operating procedure for an organization that for the last 20 years has given recent college grads a crash course in teaching and then sent them into high-need classrooms.

For the Boston Teaching Union, though, these contract nuances were unacceptable. BTU has its own contract with Boston schools, and it wasn't the same as TFA's. (Even though Boston TFA recruits were also union members.) A two-year commitment to teaching? Please. Try having all teachers reviewed annually for their first three years in the system with no guarantee that they could come back and teach again the next year. And that rehiring pool? No such thing for regular Boston teachers.

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