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Truth For America Ep. 2: Houston Principal Speaks #TFA25

This is the interview with a recent Houston high school principal that Teach For America doesn’t want you to hear.

Recently Teach For America responded to a post on Diane Ravitch’s blog. Here is a summary of their points:

  • We continue to be one of the country’s largest sources of African American and Hispanic teachers.

  • It’s important to remember that every experienced educator was once a first-year teacher, whether from TFA, another alternative route, or a traditional program.

  • TFA corps members interview for open positions and go through the same hiring process as any other teacher candidate.

  • Principals tell us they value having TFA as one additional source of new teachers with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

  • Effective teachers, no matter what their background or tenure in the classroom, are an essential part of the solution to educational inequity.

Is Teach For America telling the truth?

Teach For America spends tens of thousands of dollars every year trying to convince the public (with their purchased research, marketing campaigns, and rapids response teams) that sending temporary teachers with just a few weeks of summer training and about 20 hours of summer school classroom time to teach poor children is a GREAT idea.

To give voice to educators, parent, students and others who want to provide alternative perspectives to the public about Teach For America— we have begun a new podcast called Truth For America. Episode 1 of Truth For America is co-hosted with Jameson Brewer, a 2010 Teach Teach For America alum and author of the book Teach For America Counter-Narratives. We also invited a veteran educator and former principal of a Houston high school to talk about her experience with Teach For America corps members and their summer training program. During the show with the Houston educator, we discussed most of the talking points that Teach For America posited in their response to Diane Ravitch.

  • How diverse was the corps that she observed at her school?
  • Did Teach For America receive preferences and special treatment in hiring?
  • Did Teach For America go through the same hiring process as other teachers in the district?
  • How many Teach For America teachers stayed in her high school after two years?
  • Could Teach For America teachers be fired?
  • How were Teach For America teachers different from or similar to traditionally trained teachers?
  • Were Teach For America teachers as effective as other teachers in her high school?

Teach For America has raised more than a half of a billion dollars over the past decade (See The Teat: ~Half Billion for Teach (Temp) For America), it is our hope that the new Truth For America podcasts will provide balance to a public discussion that has been dominated by Teach For America’s very, very deep pockets and political influence.

For all of Cloaking Inequity’s posts on Teach For America click here.

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Twitter: @ProfessorJVH

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About Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig (677 Articles)
Julian Vasquez Heilig is an award-winning researcher and teacher. He is currently a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State Sacramento.

1 Comment on Truth For America Ep. 2: Houston Principal Speaks #TFA25

  1. Well, the fast answer is “no.” And TFA has no political reason to be factual. NONE. SO, we will continue to get gausy, slick ad copy that is supposedly data-based, but is more PR than anything else. Meanwhile, our state colleges and universities, that continue to prepare the bulk of our public educators get slammed for supposedly doing a poor job. Uhm, no.

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  1. Is Teach For America telling the truth? #TFA25 | waltercrunkite

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