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Colonizing the Black Natives: Reflections from a former NOLA Charter School Dean of Students

Are some charters’ practices new forms of colonial hegemony? When examining current discipline policies and aligned behavioral norms within charter school spaces, postcolonial theory is useful because of the striking similarities between problematic socialization practices and the educational regimes of the uncivilized masses in colonized nations. A number of postcolonial theorists focus on multiple ways that oppressors […]

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A Primer for Engaging Teach For America Supporters

Have you ever found yourself trapped in the insufferable position of having to tolerate a Teach For America true believer relentlessly bombarding you with justifications for Teach For America’s placement atop the corporate org chart of educational excellence? Teach For America is a $300 million “non-profit” organization that executes a highly sophisticated integrated marketing communications […]

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Why are TFA and “reformers” perhaps the least interested in reform?

Why are TFA and, more generally, “reformers” perhaps the least interested in reform? Why do they get defensive when faced with critiques based on empiricism (data and research) and efficacy (is their reform working)? See for example Jonathan Alter get defensive when I discuss charter school data and research on the Melissa Harris-Perry show. He […]

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Mr. Universe competition

To Whom does Teach For America Give Power and Influence?

A new peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Education Policy reveals the relationships between Teach For America (TFA) and federal charter school “reform” to interrogate how policy decisions are shaped by networks of elite individuals, organizations, and private corporations. Mapping the Terrain: Teach For America, Charter School Reform, and Corporate Sponsorship provides evidence that TFA […]

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#ResistTFA Tops Twitter Trend in United States

#resistTFA Tops Twitter Trend. From DianeRavitch.net: The student-led movement to defend the teaching profession is off to a fast start: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Press Contacts: Stephanie Rivera Rutgers University 1.732.485.0508 srrivera92@gmail.com Hannah Nguyen University of Southern California 1.408.644.9717 hbnguyen@usc.edu #ResistTFA (Resist Teach For America) Hashtag Tops Twitter Trend List February 18 – Chicago, IL – […]

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Help! I need your advice. Should I apply to Teach For America?

Teach For America (TFA) is soooo magnum sexy right now. For example, one of the “charities” that was sponsored during the past weekend’s NBA All-Star festivities was TFA. TFA was placed on a pedestal with the Wounded Warrior Project, UNICEF and the American Heart Association. A colleague of mine texted during the game, “Since when […]

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Democratic National Convention: Day 2

It’s Sommer Time: TFA alum Critiques Co-CEO’s “Slick Willie” Interview

I recently caught a rebroadcast of PBS’ American Experience: Clinton, and was reminded that today’s future “first man” was once dubbed “Slick Willie” by the press due to his mastery of duplicitousness in dancing around controversies. However, with Bill Clinton’s approval rating now upwards of 69 percent, he may have finally shaken off that unpleasant moniker. But with […]

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Narrative vs. Counter-narrative: Teach For America in their own words

What do Teach For America corps members say in private conversation? How can you not love Teach For America after having a conversation with one of their gregarious and articulate supporters? Their rhetoric is convincing— typically tugging on the heartstrings. Have you also noticed that they are also masters of citing data that they have […]

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USS Missouri-firing gun from astern

American Radioworks® Conversation: Does Teach for America Need Reforming?

How about radio media today instead of print? Today American Radioworks® (ARW) released a conversation (“Does Teach for America Need Reforming?”) that I had with Stephen Smith. What is ARW?: ARW is the national documentary unit of American Public Media. ARW is public radio’s largest documentary production unit; it creates documentaries, series projects, and investigative reports for the public radio […]

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Head_in_Sand

On Assignment for DianeRavitch.Net: Rewriting Thomas Harkin’s Teach For America Constituent Letter

I am on assignment today. Diane Ravitch asked me to rewrite Tom Harkin’s email to a constituent that extols the virtues of TFA. I will begin with the letter that was forwarded to me that was apparently written by Harkin’s office and then follow the official letter with my rewrite. From: Senator@harkin.senate.gov Date: January 7, […]

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Teach For America is Barking Up the Wrong Tree

It doesn’t take a Philadelphia lawyer to tell that the man who serves the master one day, and the enemy six, has just six chances out of seven to go to the devil. You are barking up the wrong tree, Johnson. — James Hall, Legends of the West. The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) released Teach For America: A Return to […]

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Debate Rages: Response to TFA’s Supposition that New Brief is a “Retreat from Evidence”

The debate rages. Yesterday, the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) released Teach For America: A Return to the Evidence. It is the sequel to the 2010 Teach For America: A Review of the Evidence. TFA has responded. Raegen Miller, TFA’s VP of Research Partnerships, has asked us to keep the dialogue going, so I will respond to his comments (See their […]

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Teach For America: A Return to the Evidence (The Sequel)

The sequel to the 2010 Teach For America: A Review of the Evidence was released by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) today. The new policy report is entitled Teach For America: A Return to the Evidence. I have included the citation, official NEPC press release, and the Executive Summary in this post. Citation: Vasquez Heilig, J. & […]

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tone-deaf

Tell-All from Oakland TFA Teacher: “I didn’t do my research” “Left by Winter Break”

Here is another tell-all that does not appear in TFA’s glossy brochures or promotion materials. I realize that proponents of TFA will likely argue that these stories from TFA corp members are no different than any other poorly trained first year teacher. But that is the exactly the point isn’t it? Why is TFA perpetuating […]

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shame

Tell-All From A TFA and KIPP Teacher: Unprepared, Isolation, Shame, and Burnout

A few years ago a UT-Austin undergraduate student sat in my office and told me that she was joining Teach For America and was going to teach in KIPP school. The essence of TFA’s pitch to her? We recruit a diverse group of leaders with a record of achievement who work to expand educational opportunity, starting […]

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Get Up, Stand Up: Boycott FedEx for their Hypocrisy and Support of TFA

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 […]

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sneak-preview

Sneak Preview: How Citizens Can Hold Teach For America Accountable

Following the comprehensive 2010 National Education Policy Center (NEPC) TFA brief (See Teach For America: A review of the evidence (The research that TFA loves to hate…), we received many requests for input from parents and educators across the nation regarding the impact of TFA in their community. Many of the requests came from communities in […]

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Champagne explosion

Champagne! Celebration!: Thank You Education Policy Analysis Archives Readers

I just received an email from the online peer-reviewed journal Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA). The readers, peer-reviewers, and authors voted Cloaking Inequity one of their seven favorite blogs. :) EPAA conducted recently conducted survey of their readership. They stated: Between September 3, 2013 and September 18, 2013 EPAA received 461 responses to its annual subscriber […]

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