Thursday, July 25, 2013

Why TFA Has Become A Badge of Shame

There are great teachers who have come out of Teach for America, some of whom are my former students. There are also school districts throughout the country, somet rural, some urban, where Teach for America Corps members once filled a real need. But the last two years, TFA has increasingly found spots for its Corps members in urban school districts where there is no teacher shortage, and in two disgraceful instances- Chicago and Philadelphia- large numbers of veteran teachers,many of them teachers of color, have been fired. This policy, to me, puts the organization beyond the pale for supporters of public education and education equity. And should provoke a crisis of conscience for former and current TFA members who entered the organization because they wanted to become teachers and work with children in need. Right now, for a growing number of education activists, being associated with TFA is a Badge of Shame. Unless TFA alumni, members and supporters fight to change its policies, or demand the organization's dissolution, the Shame will intensify and spread.

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