Danielle Schwartz: Teach for America Is Not What You Think
Danielle Schwartz is a teacher, parent, activist and blogger who has watched with concern as ed reformers circle Pennsylvania’s Lower Merion School District, one of the wealthiest school districts in the county. She has written a good essay for introducing folks to the reality of Teach for America.
Teach for America has an outstanding marketing department and lots of money to fund it. They have been criticized for many things, including the loss of certified teachers of color from the urban districts whom they charge finder fees to for each fresh, young, elite college grad they place in their schools for two short years. The doe-eyed college grads get five weeks of training and are sent into extremely difficult conditions which require racial sensitivity and all kinds training. TFA gets huge donations from philanthropies which have privatization goals.
The post is a treasure trove of resources and readings about Teach for America. TFA is not just a program for putting temporary teachers in a classroom with five weeks of training, but also a source of policy makers and edu-preneurs who can claim “teacher” on their resume. This post includes an excellent source list of articles and books to read; for anyone who is trying to educate themselves or someone else about the real story of TFA, this essay is a great place to start.