Ok, I’ll admit it: I was in Teach for America

Owen Davis has a new piece in Truth-Out.org today about Teach for America.  He interviews TFA alumni about their experience, including me.  Yes, I must admit, I was a TFA corps member.  The interviews that Davis conducted with these former corps members truly reveal TFA as part of the corporate education reform agenda to impose a business model on education.  What could be more in line with the neoliberal impulse, after all, than the idea of hiring temporary workers to keep costs down and undermine the union?

I worked hard to try to keep TFA out of Seattle–Including helping to organize an ultimately successful protest at the Apple Store against their practice of giving away free iPads to TFA corps members but not to regular classroom teachers–however, the School District went through with the plan.  Now, highly qualified young teachers, with Masters degrees, are being denied employment while TFA recruits, with only five weeks of training, are filling positions.

Thankfully, as Davis outlines, a new national organization is forming of TFA alumni to tell the truth about the program and to advocate for a true social justice approach to transforming education.

For anyone considering joining TFA, and for everyone interested in real solutions to educational inequity, check this out!: http://www.truth-out.org/articles/item/17750-teach-for-america-apostates-a-primer-of-alumni-resistance

4 responses

  1. Thank GOD for people of your ilk. Keep telling the truth Jesse…you rock!

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  2. “Neoliberal impulse”- Is that a misprint or a deliberate attempt to “muddy the waters?”

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  3. Sandy, I’m not sure what you mean?

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    1. I was responding to your statement : “What could be more in line with the neoliberal impulse after all, than the idea of hiring temporary workers to keep costs down and undermine the union?” That looks like the neocon agenda to me- the one that started back in the early John Birch Society days- the father of the Koch brothers was one of those JBS guys after all-which almost destroyed public education way back then. I smelled a rat at the very beginning of the whole Americorps/TFA movement and was vocally and actively opposed to both of those attempts to undermine public education and our union. I know of no liberal- neo or not- who supports “scab” labor and the destruction of unions and ultimately public education. I thought perhaps there was a mistake in that statement. If not, I would appreciate knowing what you characterize as liberal/progressive/Socialist- neo or otherwise.
      BTW I am a huge supporter of the test boycott (even attending your rally at the John Stanford building) and spent decades in public school classrooms before retiring. I have carried picket signs in multiple union actions in the Puget Sound region. I am a proud union and political activist and have
      been a certificated/public school educator for over fifty years. Additionally, I taught
      Contemporary Problems to one of the leaders of the MAP boycott and am extremely proud of his passion and actions to save the public schools and the young people they educate not just here but
      around the globe from the onslaught of neoconservative attacks!

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