Tag Archives: Teach For America

The Stonewall to Protect Michelle Rhee and Teach for America | Scathing Purple Musings

9 Aug

One time Michelle Rhee apologist, Jay Mathews, predicted a cover-up. He got one. Wrote Mathews in June of the snail’s pace of the DC inspector generals investigation of test-cheating which occurred on Rhee’s watch as DC chancellor:

What about all those erasures? (Current) D.C. schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson seems uninterested in the question. “I am pleased that this investigation is complete and that the vast majority of our schools were cleared of any wrongdoing,” she said.

I have been a reporter for 45 years. I have seen many cover-ups. This looks like one to me, and to many educators I have spoken to. D.C. officials have never investigated in any depth the wrong-to-right erasures that the District’s testing company began reporting in 2008.

Mathews was proved correct in yesterday’s release of the report. For USA Today: Continue reading


Daily Kos: So many big stars on board for CBS Teachers Rock to push Parent Trigger laws. TFA to get proceeds.

7 Aug

I was just reading all the big-name stars who are getting on board for the parent trigger, and I am really stunned by some of the names. Do they know what it means to lightly turn a school over to parents who have no knowledge of how to run a school? To give them power to hire and fire teachers and principals?

Are they blinded by the glitz provided by all the money behind this corporate move to take over public schools? Do they not understand the implications? Or do they simply not care?

TEACHERS ROCK Presented by Walmart & “Won’t Back Down”- a Special Event & Concert to Benefit Teachers & Education

It says it’s a special benefit to help teachers. Guess which teachers? The article makes it clear it will benefit Teach for America teachers, recruits with 5 weeks training. They will be sent out thinking they are better than other teachers in spite of meager training.

The benefit concert will showcase live performances by Dierks Bentley, Fun. and Josh Groban and special appearances by Viola Davis from “Won’t Back Down,” Josh Hutcherson, Miranda Cosgrove, Pauley Perrette, Roshon Fegan and many more. Proceeds from TEACHERS ROCK will benefit three non-profit organizations: DonorsChoose.org, Feeding America and Teach for America.…” The TEACHERS ROCK concert will feature scenes from Walden Media’s upcoming motion picture “Won’t Back Down,” released by 20th Century Fox. The film stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, who play two determined mothers, one a teacher, who will stop at nothing to transform their children’s failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children. This powerful story of parenthood, friendship and courage mirrors events that are making headlines daily.

“AEG and Walden are very excited to join efforts with Walmart in celebrating teachers. Honoring teachers and recognizing the importance of education have been bedrock values since the founding of our companies,” said Anschutz Film Group & Walden Media CEO, David Weil. “We believe that TEACHERS ROCK and our upcoming movie, WON’T BACK DOWN, will both inspire parents to believe that they can make a real difference in the lives of students and teachers.”

TEACHERS ROCK will be taped for a special one hour CBS television event broadcast Saturday, August 18th from 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET/PT, that will also feature taped performance and appearances from Carrie Underwood, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Garner, Matthew Morrison, Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, Usher, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine and James Valentine, and more.

Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis won’t back down from taking over their inner city school.  Won’t back down.  Neither will the charter companies waiting to take over the schools from the parents who thought they were empowered. Not really empowered after all except to choose the charter company.

The Parent Trigger is an astroturf creation, not built by grassroots. It was pushed by ALEC and charter companies who want to take over public schools faster.

CBS is going along because that is apparently what networks do. Look at NBC and their corporate Education Nation.

Teachers in public schools do not have funds to fight back against such star power and big money interests.  There will be less money for traditional public schools and more for those with the bigger voices.

Public school teachers indeed rock.  Yet the benefits from the CBS show are going to Teach for America.

via Daily Kos: So many big stars on board for CBS Teachers Rock to push Parent Trigger laws. TFA to get proceeds..

Bad News for TFA « Diane Ravitch’s blog

14 May

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals panel yesterday re-affirmed its September 2010 ruling that the U.S. Department of Education unlawfully diluted the standard of teacher owed every student in the country under the No Child Left Behind Act NCLB when it issued a 2002 regulation classifying teachers in training as “highly qualified.”

The court proceeded to dismiss the Renee v. Duncan case, however, on the grounds that Congress passed a measure in December 2010 temporarily qualifying the country’s approximately 100,000 teachers-in-training in alternate route programs as “highly qualified” through the 2012-13 school year. The court found that there was no relief presently owed to plaintiffs but held the issue was not moot and that, absent further Congressional action, alternate route trainees must once again be deemed not “highly qualified” after June of next year. Continue reading

Jefferson Parish School Board to consider contract with Teach for America | NOLA.com

1 Feb

Less than a year after laying off 54 veteran educators, the Jefferson Parish School Board is considering hiring almost three dozen Teach for America graduates over objections from the teachers union. On the recommendation of Superintendent James Meza, the board Wednesday will consider signing a contract with Teach for America for 35 teachers to work in the system’s poorest and, in most cases, lowest-performing schools.

The two-year contract would take effect for the 2012-13 academic year.

“The organization has a long history in south Louisiana and has performed at the top of the (state) rankings of teacher preparation programs for a number of years,” Meza said.

In addition to regular salaries, the contract would cost the school system $3,500 per teacher annually, for a total of $245,000. The money would go toward recruiting, selection, training and professional development for those hired. Continue reading

Matt Damon’s mother is wrong – Class Struggle – The Washington Post

16 Jan

Almost all of us say that as a nation we should work out our differences and unite to solve our problems. But we don’t mean it.

Exhibit A is the bad blood between the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teacher union, and Teach for America, the most popular public-service option for graduates of selective colleges.

The NEA has been at odds with TFA since the teacher-recruitment program began. NEA leaders dislike the idea, conceived in 1989 by then 22-year-old Princeton undergraduate Wendy Kopp, of giving young people selected for academic achievement and ambition just five weeks of summer training before having them teach in some of our lowest-performing urban and rural public schools. TFA’s steady growth and rising status at prestigious universities has not soothed NEA’s distress. Continue reading

America’s Teachers See Growing Poverty Up Close

14 Jan

If you want to know the human impact of the current recession, ask America’s teachers

ne of the things I’ve discovered in recent years is that when it comes to education policy, the last people asked for input are America’s teachers. We have a President who holds an “education summit” that includes the nation’s top business leaders and foundation heads, but no teachers; we have billionaires lobbying to privatize education and break teachers unions; we have an organization that purports to work for educational equity that encourages its recruits to leave teaching after two years because they can influence policy more by moving into other, more prestigious careers, rather than spending a lifetime as a “mere teacher.” Continue reading

Money From Donors, iPads for Free: How Is it That Teach For America’s Struggling Corps Are Broke? – Living in Dialogue – Education Week Teacher

14 Jan

The season of giving might be behind us, but non-profits continue to target donors. Teach For America, Inc., attracts major contributions, but TFA teachers often referred to as corp members are raising questions about where the money is being spent. Many TFA teachers take out hefty loans to cover their living expenses as they get trained and begin their placements. These loans must be repaid within thirty days if the teachers leave the program for any reason.

Philanthropists, corporate donors and foundations view Teach For America’s as worthy of significant financial support Ravitch, 2010. The non-profit register, Guide Star, lists TFA as a “public charity.” Continue reading

Why Teach For America Is Not Welcome in My Classroom | LA Progressive

8 Jan

Every spring, without fail, a Teach for America recruiter approaches me and asks if they can come to my classes and recruit students for TFA, and every year, without fail, I give them the same answer.


Until Teach for America becomes committed to training lifetime educators and raises the length of service to five years rather than two, I will not allow TFA to recruit in my classes. The idea of sending talented students into schools in impoverished areas, and then after two years encouraging them to pursue careers in finance, law, and business in the hope that they will then advocate for educational equity really rubs me the wrong way.

It was not always thus.  Ten years ago, when a Teach for America recruiter first approached me,  I was enthusiastic about the idea of recruiting my most idealistic and talented students for work in poor schools.  I allowed TFA representative to make presentations in my classes, filled with urban studies and African American studies majors.  Several of my best students applied, all of whom wanted to become teachers, and most of whom came from the kind of high-poverty neighborhoods  where TFA proposed to send its recruits.

Not one of them was accepted! Continue reading

Leading Our Profession: Dennis2Delegates

6 Jan

The following is NEA president Dennis Van Roekel’s response to the controversy that has developed over the op-ed piece he co-authored with Teach for America CEO Wendy Kopp:

Hello Delegates and Happy New Year!

Thanks to many of you who have responded to my post about Leading the Profession: NEA’s Three-Point Plan for Reform and the major strategies guiding our efforts. I am deeply proud of the Association’s ongoing work in this area and encourage you to visit nea.org to read the three-point plan and other related items.

Also, I wanted to take an opportunity to respond to comments on my op-ed piece in USA Today with Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach For America. I believe leadership involves a willingness to speak with, listen to, and collaborate with a variety of people, oftentimes on issues where there may be differences of opinion. Following the call in our three-point plan to both raise the bar for entry into the profession and maintain high standards of practice in the classroom, it is more important than ever for us to work with all education stakeholders willing to collaborate with us if we are to truly improve the profession and provide a great education for our students. Continue reading

Matt Damon, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Decline NEA Education Award Nomination Over USA Today Op-Ed

5 Jan

Matt Damon and his mother, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, have declined a nomination for the Friend of Education award from the National Education Association’s Massachusetts arm — because of the NEA’s collaboration with Teach For America on a USA Today op-ed.

In a letter Wednesday to NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, Carlsson-Paige, a professor of early childhood education at Lesley University, says that she and Damon had originally planned to accept the nomination when they discussed the possibility over the summer.

But in December, Van Roekel and TFA Founder and CEO Wendy Kopp co-authored a piece in USA Today on how to improve America’s teachers.

“I have decided that because of your collaboration with TFA, it would not be wise for me or for Matt to be nominated for the Friend of Education Award,” Carlsson-Paige writes in her letter. “I regret this turn of events.” Continue reading

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