Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spoofing Rhee and TFA: Last Stand for Children First Blog - Must Read

Ran across this blog. Is Gary Babab moonlighting? Make sure to click the link to the bubble test wallpaper.

Our booth was a huge success.  We sold out of our bubble test wallpaper and nearly sold our entire stock.  Many TFAers it seems are raising the next generation of high-achieving children and wanted the wallpaper for their personal use.  We also gave away our entire stock of safety tape, which was our free give away.  After we learned that Michelle Rhee had once been horrified to find that the mouths of the class whose mouths she had taped were all bleeding, we went to work on finding a safer tape that would still stop children from opening their mouths, but would not cause physical damage.  Safety Tape does just that and is available in a wide variety of fun colors from Silent Sable to Noiseless Navy.  We are also working on a new brand of Velcro restraints that we hope to have out for next year’s TFA convention. Michelle Rhee was of course very impressed with our tape and even applied some to Myron Miner’s mouth while joking around during a panel discussion.  Rhee offered a startling statistic for the future that I am sure she didn’t just make up saying, “123,000 new high tech jobs will be coming to the United States and only 50,000 students are qualified to do them.”   
Ms. Rhee suggested that there were many ways for the remaining 73,000 students to pad their résumés and suggested that résumé padding is something that all students should be taught in school.

Joel Klein inspired us all by saying that we should make this “our Egypt moment.”  At first, I couldn’t see the parallels, but then I remembered Klein was now working for Rupert Murdoch who saw Hosni Mubarak as the hero of Egypt’s “Egypt moment”.  When I remembered that, and thought of Wisconsin’s brave Governor Scott Walker threatening to send out the National Guard to help him crush the public employee unions in the state and the way that Mubarak threatened to do similar things to the trade unions helping occupy Tahrir Square, it made a lot more sense.  When I thought back to Michelle Rhee’s comments about the DC schools falling apart without her and the way Mubarak said such similar things, I realized that we need to stand up to resistance in a way Mubarak didn’t have the courage to.  Otherwise our ruling elite will wind up like Egypt’s did.

Leonie says:
There is a guy who is fantastically funny and runs the website LSFC1 – Last stand for children first ( a spoof of Students first, stand for children etc. and all those orgs funded by Gates that have sprung up)

He also plays  Rep. Jack Kimble – a fake GOP Congressman from CA who is really hilarious and that some reporters have confused him w/ a real House member.  See

You can also follow him at Twitter which I do; RepJackKimble  and LS4C1 

Kimble ends every night by saying Good night, America, stay free!
I discovered LSFCF at Alexander Russo's Chicago focused (even though he lives in Brooklyn) blog. Here are some serious comments I picked off. I found this comment interesting - and true: They (TFAers) often fail to recognize the positive attributes of veteran teachers, rather concentrating on the sub-par minority. 
Why we will no longer hire TFAs:
We do not want to hear any more: “ I didn’t know the kids would be so far behind, they would be so misbehaved, they would have such little parent support”, etc.
Do not want to keep going on their classrooms due to their practice of classroom management or get 5 student write-ups a day on ‘answering back’ or not doing what I told them to do…have a revolving door of subs due to TFA teachers who leave because teaching is really not for them, who (finally) get married and move on with their spouse, who get pregnant so that they do not have to teach anymore, or when that dream job finally comes to them and they leave in the middle of the year, (I’ll miss the kids though) and then we have to get subs. The help and time we gave them was a waste, learning to be a teacher in summer school was a waste, but mostly, the students are angry these teachers leave them for something/anything better. (And they take it out on the sub or next teacher.)
TFAs like other young teachers are by and large hard workers. Unlike their "regular" peers however they do not seek advice from veteran teachers, rather huddling together and conferring with other rookies. They have a propensity to cite studies and data that fly in the face of the reality in the school. They exude an unearned confidence that belies a general lack of classroom control. They create lessons that are so "rigorous" that they are beyond the reach of most students. They believe that they are more "energetic" than other teachers and that energy and smarts are more important than realism and experience. They are in some ways idealistic, but that idealism is based on an unreality that the TFA system perpetuates. They promote themselves as "education alumni" after only a few years of work. They often fail to recognize the positive attributes of veteran teachers, rather concentrating on the sub-par minority. They refuse to be critical of the TFA program. I must admit however that as a general rule they are much more fashionable than their regular counterparts. You won't see TFAs wearing golf shirts and blouses purchased at The Gap.
Agreed with both above--the TFAs at my school-you describe accurately, even the clothing they wear! It is trendy, but too revealing for teachers of middle school boys. And on advice-I feel sorry for two of these young girls in a tough classroom since September. They are still lost. They teach now to only 1/4 of the class, while their other students ignore them. They have no classroom control and offer lessons that are over the students' heads-so they lose them. And this is February! Their students will have lower ISAT scores from last year, since their students socialize and learn nothing. It is really sad. It is also true that two TFAs left our school because they were 'uncomfortable' with our Latino students speaking Spanish, in their classrooms, even though these students spoke and understood English well.

Anonymous said:
default userpic external-auth auth-type-
It truly was an inspirational weekend. Anytime you put 11,000 TFA alumni with nearly 25,000 years of combined teaching experience, you have a tremendous amount of something. Our organization Last Stand for Children First was fortunate to be there and our booth gave away our complete supply of safety tape, which is wonderful for taping students mouths without pulling off the skin like can happen with regular tape. My report from TFA20 is located on our website at

Read more:

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the mention and the links, norm -- and yes, LSFC is v. funny -- alexander (about my hometown chicago schools)


Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating). Or because your comment is irrelevant or idiotic.