Monday, March 12, 2012

Has Teach for America Become a Scab Labor Agency?

Has Teach for America become a scab labor agency? All over the country, school districts are contracting to bring in TFA corps members after firing veteran teachers through "school turnaround strategies" enthusiastically supported by the US Department of Education. This is happening right now in Montgomery Alabama and is about to happen in New York City if the NYC Department of Education can get away with it's plans to close 33 allegedly " failing schools." Since there is no longer a teacher shortage in the US it seems like the only way TFA can justify the funds it gets from Gates and Walton is encourage school districts to fire veteran teachers to make room for its corps members.

At a time when workers in the US need to relearn the concept of Solidarity to defend- and eventually improve- their living standards, this policy represents its antithesis. Young people considering joining TFA should think long and hard whether they want to take a job that has been created by firing someone else and Occupy groups and progressive faculty should consider whether TFA should be allowed to recruit on their campuses without being vigorously challenged on this dangerous new policy. And as for young progressives who are in, or were once in TFA, they might want to consider openly pressing the TFA leadership to change direction.

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