Friday, July 20, 2012

Teach for America rap: A Scab is a Scab is a Scab

 Treme, the HBO series focused on New Orleans by The Wire crew hits all the right notes.
Remember how The Wire took a strong stand against ed deform? Arne Duncan said the best thing that happened to New Orleans was Katrina in that it allowed them to fire all the teachers and bring in TFA and open charter schools. Check NO over the next dew years to see the results.

 From the episode "Santa Claus, Do You Ever Get the Blues?"

See our recent post on TFA: The Onion Takes on Teach For America
which prompted this cry baby comment:
I'm sorry, but no where on The Onion’s website does the article even mention Teach For America. To say that The Onion has a piece "on Teach For America” is quite the leap—especially given that the details in the Onion article don’t actually match details associated with Teach For America. To start, their teachers are, in fact, NOT volunteer teachers.  Not to mention that there are very few Teach For America corps members with a middling GPA or sparse law school application.
The last line says it all. How insulting to connect us elites to middling GPAs.

This comment came in:

Jack has left a new comment on your post "The Onion Takes on Teach For America":

So Anonymous actually thinks the satirist who wrote this was not using TFA as the object of this parody.
Hmmm... let's check out some excerpts for a better handle on this:

"... some privileged college grad who completed a five-week training program and now wants to document every single moment of her life-changing year on a Tumblr... "

A well-known alternative teacher training with program with a specific length of "five-weeks"? Nahhh, that's nothing like TFA. I'm sure there's countless alternative training programs famous enough that a satirist outside of education would have used one of those programs to satirize. Anonymous, if you can find a link to another such well-known-enough-to-warrant-
satire program other than TFA that whose training last exactly five weeks, please offer it so you can prove me wrong.

The kids is sick of "... dealing with a new fresh-faced college graduate who doesn't know what he or she is doing... "

Again, that's nothing like the well-known critisms people have lobbed at TFA for the last two decades.

The kid desires "... a real, honest-to-God degree in education and not a twentysomething English graduate .... "


"... a qualified educator who has experience standing up in front of a classroom and isn't desperately trying to prove to herself that she's a good person.... "


"... sort of stepping stone to a larger career... "


"... someone who actually wants to be a teacher, actually comprehends the mechanics of teaching, and won't get completely eaten alive by a classroom full of 10-year-olds within the first two months on the job.... "


"... adopted puppies you can show off to your friends... "

Yeah, like you never read TFA blogs or books from former TFA-ers who talk of their students in such a manner.

"... Underprivileged children occasionally say some really sad things that open your eyes and make you feel as though you've grown as a person... "

Yeah, like you never read smarmy anecdotes from TFA-ers that condescend to low-income students while the writer gushes about how it makes him/her a better person in the process.

"... can't afford to spend these vital few years of my cognitive development becoming a small thread in someone's inspirational narrative."


One more thing: nowhere in the fictional kid's letter does he ever refer to the alternatively-trained teachers as "volunteers", so that's a strawman.

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  1. A few new teachers were hired in our school last year - one of whom was a TFA member. Guess who was the first and only one to contact the union with a complaint? The TFA member. It still makes me smile.


    The 20 something CEO of Buffalo's "reformers" this piece would go perfectly with the bullet item above

    Yeah, like you never read smarmy anecdotes from TFA-ers that condescend to low-income students while the writer gushes about how it makes him/her a better person in the process.


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