Teach For America Civil War: A sincere tell-all from New York City
A Cloaking Inequity reader made me aware of this sincere tell-all from a former TFA teacher that was recently posted on Carla Ranger’s blog, a Dallas ISD School Board member (we have lots and lots and lots of TFA in Texas— Dallas, Houston, Rio Grande Valley etc.). John Bilby’s thoughts reblogged from Ranger’s blog:
I left the organization because I felt that it does not adequately prepare its people to serve the poorest children in public schools. I also think that TFA is more interested in power, access, and influence in the federal game of education than it is concerned with resolving educational inequity. Its “corps members” are merely a means to this end, providing the organization with a front while it pursues the goals of its donors, namely to remodel public education in this country in order to favor a high-turnover, non-unionized workforce in charters run by hedge-fund managers for tax breaks. I foresee this further stratifying our current system into one in which children with disabilities, children who don’t speak English, and children who do not do well on standardized tests are funneled into substandard schools in a constant state of crisis due to continuous budget cutting.
I still believe, however, in the democratic power of education and the right of the people to vote out those who might infringe upon it. I am beginning a traditional route teacher certification program and I am looking forward to getting back into a city classroom soon.
Clearly, his counter-narrative is not what you hear in the media or from TFA.
Meta question: Who is to blame that John Bilby didn’t “know how to teach” after only five weeks of summer training?… John? The district? TFA? For the past two decades have we been drinking TFA flavored Kool-Aid? See CI’s full thread on TFA here.
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