Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Teach for America to Announce Accelerated Program

Updated June 16, 2008:

ED Notes News is reporting that Teach for America is planning to introduce a program to cut the time its recruits must teach from two years to two months. The NY Times is preparing to run an editorial in support of the idea that a teacher can make a significant difference in 2 months, as demonstrated by a study of 2 teachers in a school in New Orleans.

A TFA pokesperson gave the top 10 reasons:

Number 10: Do you know how hard it is to come up with a new plan to close the achievement gap every single day?

Number 9: Our people are burning at a tremendous rate. Spending two months in the culturally deprived ghettos of our cities should be enough for our people to impress future bosses with their willingness to sacrifice.

Number 8: Two years is way too long to take out of their busy careers. Now that I think about it, so is 2 months. Any chance we could get away with 2 days?

Number 7: After realizing that the achievement gap is not being closed due to their efforts might prove discouraging, get them out of there before they find out.

Number 6: If too many TFA recruits stay in the system they begin to see the problems go beyond their own classrooms with potentially cataclysmic results.

Number 5: Like, becoming critical of the wonderful reforms set up by BloomKlein.

Number 4: Or they begin to support the idea of public education while opposing TFA's role in its undermining.

Number 3: Instead of automatically supporting their supervisors, as we urge, the awful principals that have come empowered under BloomKlein turn them into carping critics, which distracts them from their main mission, which is to demonstrate the system is not a factor and only what they do as individuals counts. They lose the belief that if every classroom was filled with a TFA, all problems in society will be solved.

Number 2: Too long of an exposure to non-TFA lazy, stupid teachers with low expectations can infect them before they enter the corporate world and make oodles of money those same stupid lazy teachers who make careers of teaching will never do. Suckers!

And the number 1 reason to cut the Teach for America program from 2 years to 2 months:
Some of our recruits who remain in the system see the need for a union and - horrors - a few have even become union reps.


  1. Hi Norm.

    Cami Anderson here. I just want to thank you for highlighting our new plan. As you know, I had to spend three years as a TFA teacher in a California elementary school. I feel I could have been more successful under a two month time frame. Perhaps today I would have been NYC's chancellor instead of a Superintendent for District

    I also want to say how proud I am of the work I've done in D79. I am especially happy to announce that the over 1,000 students that Offsite Educational Services graduated last year (the most in their 24 year history before I shut them down) will be surpassed this year.....


    That can't be!

    Norm, I will have to get back to you.

    We need to crunch some numbers.



  2. Let's not get bogged down in a dispute over whether two years or two months is the optimum time. We need to apply adaptive testing technology to professional devlopment so that we have an objective way of measuring when a TFA's work is done.

    Just as adaptive online tutorials used in "credit recovery" programs allow potential drop outs to earn six, eight, or more credits in a few weeks, a similar technology could empower TFAs at their own pace. If you have closed your school's achievement gap in two weeks, the system raises tougher challenges, such as bringing the district to 100% proficiency. The computer automatically adjusts and brings the next appropriate goal, such as ending hunger and bringing world peace. That will shut up the Richard Rothsteins of the profession who are always whining about poverty.

    Of course, the online program will need a vendor that does not suffer from low expectations or a reality-based paradigm. I visualize a collaboration between Halliburton and those hopeful folks who brought us Reading First.

  3. Cami Anderson again, I just wanted to go public and advertise that all TFA alumni should immediately stop teaching and send me your resumes. I don't care if they've only been teaching a week, I will be offering them 6 figure positions as assistant Superintendents. They can be just like other TFA alumni like Giula "Pig" Cox and Chad "Know-it-all" Ferguson, who's currently a top aide for Michelle Rhee down in DC.

  4. This is the real Cami Anderson. You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

    And the Chad comment is not funny. Chad is dreamy. I can still remember the black denim jeans he wore during those hot days of summer when you animals came in to be interviewed. If I had my way, I would have let the whole lot of you go.

    Bob...get my coffee. NOW.

    I can't wait until I can let him go too.

    Nevermind. If you don't like TFA, too bad. Stick it.

    Bob...Tell Randi I'll call her back and could you get my coffee please.

    Norm, you are insane. TFA is the best platform for privatizing our school system. Am I wrong? Not one word from you on that! Shame!

    Ok...Like...I have to go. My lovely assistant is sitting so close to me that her necklace is caught in my hair.

    -CA (That means Cami Anderson and not California stupids).

  5. Thanks John for saying the magic word: Halliburton. I got hit by the duck coming down as your message popped up on the screen.

    I must really disagree that ending poverty and world hunger is the next goal after closing the achievement gap as it is more important than assuring TFA's create snappy resumes for law school.

  6. You're not going far enough: try TFA Homeopathy: volunteers drive by 10 poor schools and improve them thereby.

  7. Why drive with gas prices so high? Close the achievement gap from home on the internet.

  8. Norm,

    You said it, again! (Snappy resumes) But law school is so passe. Venture philanthropy is the new "plastics"


  9. Hey Norm, Michelle Rhee here.
    Hold on... I have to spit out the bee I swallowed as part of my clever classroom management strategy.
    Ok, love your plan-
    Wait... I have to spit out the souls of the children whose education I am killing.
    Anyway, as I was saying, the shorter the plan the better. In my short experience-
    Hold on... I have to spit out the careers of any experienced teachers who might actually be able to educate children.
    Ok, I'm done.
    What were we talking about?

  10. Wendy Kopp here.

    Unbelievable. This is just mean. You status quo fetishist are so down on anything that shows progress. All you want to do is beat down a system that data has shown to work. What you really are saying is that you like a dysfunctional system because you can keep your jobs and you aren't held to any real standards.

    At least TFA gives poor children a chance to see what privileged people look like.

  11. This was hilarious. The comments are even funnier! Thank you for making me laugh!

    -Ex TFA staffer!


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