Today a reader gave me the heads up that FedEx wants to make a $300,000 commitment to Teach For America (TFA). (See http://blog.van.fedex.com/countlesspossibilities) They will donate a dollar of every One Rate transaction (Their attempt to compete with the US postal service Priority Mail). I have written extensively about TFA’s temporary agency approach for poor kids. See my editorial in the New York Times entitled A Glorified Temp Agency. (For all of Cloaking Inequity’s posts on TFA click here) Also, in January 2014, NEPC will release the new policy brief entitled Teach For America: A Return to the Evidence, the sequel to Teach For America: A review of the evidence
I was wondering, who does FedEx hire to do their Technology, Human Resources, Communications and Solutions work? Core functions of teachers and important roles in the FedEx corporation. Do you think they hire individuals with a college degree and only five weeks of training? Or do you think they search for experienced individuals for their company? I did a little research in the careers section of the FedEx website for jobs that required at least a Bachelor’s degree and here is what I found:
Table 1. FedEx open positions as of 12/14/2013
|20282||WW Account Manager||TX-Houston||5|
|20283||WW Account Manager||AZ-Phoenix||5|
|20167||WW Account Manager||CA-Los Angeles||5|
|20168||WW Account Manager||MI-Detroit||5|
|20171||WW Account Manager||OH-Cleveland||5|
|Average Years of Experience for Solutions||4.7|
|20062||Engineering Specialist Advisor||OH-Akron||0|
|20321||Associate Programmer Analyst||PA-Coraopolis||2|
|20294||Associate Technical Analyst||PA-Coraopolis||2|
|Average Years of Experience for Technology||3.2|
|Average Years of Experience for Communications/Marketing||5|
|51143||Organization Development Specialist||OH-Uniontown||7|
|200012BR||HR Representative/Sr HR Representative||WI-New Berlin||0|
|Average Years of Experience for Human Resources||3.5|
So it turns out that FedEx requires between 3.2 and 5 years of experience for these select core functions (Technology, Human Resources, Communications and Solutions) in their current job openings. That does not include any training that these employees will have to go through (i.e. the ninety days of training for a marketing position— see email below). Their support of TFA is hypocritical because they are financially contributing to an organization that provides only five weeks of summer training to teachers before they enter some of the most challenging schools in our nation. (Recent research has even discovered that TFA only provides 90 minutes of instruction during the summer training program to teach English Language Learner students despite their status as a special population)
In the post Who Can We Boycott?: Who Benefits From or Invests in Pearson and Teach for America? Dr. Michelle Maher discussed businesses that education reformers can boycott to express their political free speech. So what can we do to express our political free speech to FedEx? For starters, you can boycott FedEx and their new One Rate service that directly benefits TFA. I received this email from a Cloaking Inequity reader today:
I threw a FedEx person out of my office yesterday. It was my marketing rep and I was polite. She was trying to sell me on FedEx new service designed to compete with USPS Priority Mail. As soon as she told me about the FedEx promotion, I (politely) told her “well now we have a problem because I don’t like TFA and I don’t do business with any company that supports them. Go back and tell your boss TFA just cost you an account. (If I ship 100 FedEx pieces a year its a lot, but I ship about 25 Priority Mail packages a week and they are trying to get that business.)
She promised to have her region director call me on Monday. She was also blown away when I told her about TFA. It takes ninety days to train for her own job. It registered right away that you can’t become a highly qualified teacher with only five weeks training. She was clearly shocked.
We all have opportunities to use FedEx and should stop in protest of their financial support to TFA and KIPP.
Among things we can do are (in order of priority) send out tweets including the @FedEx handle and encourage users to cancel their FedEx account. When ordering anything with expedited shipping, ask the shipper to use UPS or USPS. Encourage clients, vendors, employers to cancel FedEx account and let FedEx know its because we are FedUp and we are not going to take it anymore. Post records of anyone supporting the effort and send the message if you hurt public education we will hurt you back.
You can also blast FedEx their twitter feed every so often with TFA research that you found on Cloaking Inequity :) instead of using their hashtag #countlesspossibilities replace it with #TFAtemps
You could also email their top management:
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Executive Vice President, Market Development and Corporate Communications
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Information Officer, FedEx Corporate Services
Finally, you could also boycott the FedEx Orange Bowl. I planned on doing that anyways because Ohio State is participating. Go Blue!
p.s. Feel free to post the names of any businesses that use FedEx in the comments to make readers aware.
YOU CAN HELP: Do you have documents or information about TFA? Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
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