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Is @TeachForAmerica Cloaking Inequity?: Discussing the Headwind

After several decades, Teach For America, a program that sends inexperienced teachers (typically only 5 weeks of summer training) before they are shipped off to teach on a (primarily) temporary basis in America’s toughest schools, is facing some headwind. Alumni are increasingly speaking out against the organization, many of whom who joined Teach For America […]

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Can we Evaluate #Teachers Without Using High-Stakes #Testing?

Late in the summer I received an email from Larry Ferlazzo, an award-winning English and Social Studies teacher at Luther Burbank High School here in Sacramento, asking if I was interested in contributing to the conversation about the evaluation of teachers for his Edweek Classroom Q&A blog. He asked several other folks across the nation […]

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Teachers Matter: The Letter Defending Educators @Time Wouldn’t Print #TIMEapologize #TIMEfail

To: Nancy Gibbs, Time Editor From: Thomas L. Good, Professor Emeritus College of Education University of Arizona 1936 E Fifth Street Tucson, AZ  85719 520-884-4298 TEACHERS MATTER The November 3 issue of Time magazine includes a sensational cover, an editorial statement and a feature story that systematically question the value of American teachers who often […]

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The Nation Storified: This Is What Happens When You Criticize @TeachForAmerica

The Nation released a brilliant piece exposing how Teach For America spends millions to silence critiques of the organization by its alums and others. Below I have included selected Twitter quotes and photos from excellent investigative report by George Joseph on Storify. Twitter blasts usually get lost in the annals of Twitter history— so I turn […]

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A Message to Democrats (and Republicans too) about Education Reform

Because I am California bound, I had to cancel an engagement to speak with the Sun City Democrats about education reform. To make up for it, I taped a message to them and answered their questions. I pasted the YouTube response below. Here are the questions: We read, in the Austin Statesman, that one of the […]

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Teaching as a Profession?: Heading for the Exits, Fellows, and North Carolina

Teacher attrition is an issue across the United States. Amongst traditionally trained teachers, about 50% leave after 5 years. The infamous Teach For America program has an attrition rate of about 80% after five years (this is why Teach For America wants to focus the public on a 50% in “education” field number). As seen […]

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Happy Birthday!: A Conversation About Education With César E. Chávez

Happy Birthday César Chávez! Often education “reformers” toss around civil rights as a justification for their “reforms.” See for example Reframing the Refrain: Choice as a Civil Rights Issue. If he were still alive today, how would César Chávez have weighed in on the school “reform” movement? I pose several questions about hot topics in education reform— then I […]

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Startling Findings?: Black students “hardest hit” by Teacher Quality Inequities

This is why the Civil Rights data collection by DoEd is so important. EdWeek published a piece entitled Black Students Less Likely to Be Taught By Certified Teachers, Ed. Dept. Data Show. A few months ago Cloaking Inequity took up this issue in the post Whats Good for Goose, is Good for Gander: Feds propose changes to Civil […]

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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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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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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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On Assignment for @DianeRavitch : 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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A Horror Comedy: Teach For America Rises to Power

Gremlins was a “horror comedy” movie that came out in the early 1980s. Wikipedia: The film is about a young man who receives a strange creature called a Mogwai as a pet, which then spawns other creatures who transform into small, destructive, evil monsters. What does it take for the Gremlins to spawn and replicate […]

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Teach For America: Feel Good Spin vs. Dose of Reality From A Corps Member

I often receive notes and email from Teach For America teachers who have regret about their decision to join the corps (Please encourage teachers to send them to me. I will publish them here on Cloaking Inequity to give them voice). Should you believe the positive spin from your local TFA lobbyist, Mathematica, TFA recruiters, […]

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Whats Good for Goose, is Good for Gander: Feds propose changes to Civil Rights data

Unbelievably, I have travelled more than 20,000 miles over the past five weeks— Brazil, Princeton, New York City, Las Vegas and Oregon. Imagine a scenario where I showed up at the airport and the airline employee gave me the following choices: You can fly on an airplane today with a pilot with 30 hours of […]

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Academia Esoteric and Inaccessible?: Not this month

Oft heard critiques of academia is that our work is esoteric and/or inaccessible. Over the past few days I have released two new peer-reviewed studies here at Cloaking Inequity that have implications for school reform: School Turnaround: Calling the Bluff of Accountability? and Expansive School Segregation in Texas: Predicts Accountability Rating. The journal at the top of the […]

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George H.W. Obama’s education platform: Republicans should be flattered and Democrats ashamed?

Mr. President, welcome to Austin! I was looking over your “Forward” education platform and I thought I would share it with the readers of Cloaking Inequity. I think they will be super excited about your progressive stances on education. The Democrat’s strategy is based on sound principle. Parents have the right to choose the best […]

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V for Victory: Teach For America, ELLs, and California

Special Education and English Language Learners are considered vulnerable student populations. As a result, our society, courts, and policymakers have afforded these student populations special protections. However, in California, until recently, policy has allowed districts to offer rookie teachers limited access to training for teaching special populations— including Teach For America corps members. I have […]

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