Tag Archives: TFA
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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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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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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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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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The Republicans didn’t get what they wanted from Shutdown, but TFA did

Three weeks and $26 billion later, the Republicans didn’t get what they wanted, but Teach For America did. A little teaser from the upcoming 2013 NEPC TFA brief: TFA also wields significant political influence. Numerous TFA alumni have left the classroom after their two-year commitment and are positioned in influential roles impacting educational policy— from […]

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“Does Not Compute”: Teach For America Mathematica Study is Deceptive?

I’ll admit it. I am a sci-fi junkie. I am that lone person in the theater at a midnight showing on the release night of a new sci-fi film. Sometimes I am one of only 3 or 4 people in the theater. I should blame this probably on my parents who raised me on Star […]

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polar-bear-cuddle-fest

Huggy, Snuggly, Cuddly: Teach For America and Mathematica

Wanna Cuddle? A new study paid for by the U.S. Department of Education enlisted the services of Mathematica, Inc., a research organization that has studied Teach For America and its subsidiaries, consistently for over a decade.[1] The reports have one thing in common: Teach For America and  the growing network of charter schools affiliated with TFA , end up with […]

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exuberance47

New Mathematica TFA Study is Irrational Exuberance

Teach For America (TFA) has sought to direct attention to a new study recently released by Mathematica.  A blogger at the Washington Post even argued that my prior critiques of TFA were “not true anymore.” (See all of my prior posts on TFA here.) Is that the case? Next week I will start an entire […]

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Starving Cow by R. Drown

The Teat: The Bloomberg Blues— A Starved Cow on Purpose

The Teat is a series on Cloaking Inequity that examines the financial backing of “reformers” who influence education policy. For this current installment in the series, I am going to examine Michael Bloomberg, the current mayor of New York, school “reformer,” and multibillionaire. To begin, every post in The Teat series has a Haiku: Children […]

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From the Mailbag: Teach For America Defector Speaks

There is a growing crescendo in support and opposition of Teach For America from its alumni base. For all of Cloaking Inequity’s posts on Teach For America go here. Also see my piece in the New York Times on Teach For America here. Howard Blume from the LA Times recently wrote two pieces about TFA. The […]

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