Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Should Teach for America Be "Mic Checked"

I was incredibly disturbed to hear, from a friend in Detroit, that the local education authority plans to bring in 200 Teach for America Corps members after nearly a score of Detroit public schools are closed and hundreds of veteran teachers let go. This is the second city in the last two weeks- Montgomery Ala is the other- which is replacing fired veteran teachers with young teachers from TFA.

If past history is an indicator, you can bet that in Detroit, a far higher percentage of the teachers let go than the teachers TFA will be bringing in will be Black and Latino.

But that race and class dynamic only compounds the moral and political issue that we need to confront- namely that an organization founded with high ideals when there was a national teacher shortage has become an empire building octopus that now routinely sings contracts with municipalities to hire TFA teachers when those same municipalities close allegedly "failing schools" ( judged as failing entirely on graduation rates and test scores) and fires veteran teachers

To me,that behavior is the moral equivalent of strikebreaking. I have had many wonderful students join TFA over the past ten years, but none of them got jobs by having someone else fired

Now, the dynamics have changed. If TFA doesn't stop encouraging municipalities to fire veteran teachers to make room for its Corps members, perhaps it is time for Occupy groups, and other social justice advocates to start "Mic Checking" TFA recruiters when they come to University?

I pose this question to Occupy Groups, labor unions, and TFA Corps members past and present

Have TFA's current labor policies- which turn it into a source of "replacement labor" -placed it beyond the pale in the progressive community?


BHNATIVE said...

Charter Schools are making a fortune, and they pick the children they want, public school accepts everyone. Private school also pick the students. Charter should not have a say as to who goes to their schools. Some charters are in low income communities and they are not require to have placement for the immediate community, but bus students from other areas. This is not right.
Why are teacher blamed, they should be blamed, they also have the voice and are educated enough to make changes to improve the quality of education, they also have the unions to support them. So why are teachers allowing schools to fail. Is not just the teachers, is our government, politicians, and Mayors like Anthonio Villaraigosa, LOS ANGELES, CA, THAT TOOK over schools in low income Latino communities without the process of the community approving it, now those school are in worst situation, and another layer of corruption, and mismanagement, this is done without the community consent or vote, we all pay property taxes, so we should say what and how the education will proceed. IT SHOULD NOT BE THE MAYOR OF THE CITY.

BHNATIVE said...

The Mayor of Los Angeles took over the school with a partnership call PLAS. How was this done, the majority of parents in this communities do not have a high school diploma, do not speak English, and a high percentage of the parents are illegal. The community was not allowed to have a say, becaused the Mayor new that the parent would be afraid to go against his take over. The Mayor only allowed the parent and teacher to vote, BY NOT ALLOWING THE COMMUNITY TO VOTE WOULD INSURE HIS TAKEOVER. What happen to our Democracy, when did we loose it to Mayor Villaraisgo, from Los Angeles, CA