Michael Flanagan: Teachers who argued that the reason for poor academic performance was the high poverty rate in the communities were not only figuratively, but literally, dismissed.
Steven Singer: Those advocating for TFA insist it’s somehow better to give a child an instructor who has a few weeks training versus someone with a 4-or-5-year degree and who has real life experience on the job!
Jamaal Bowman: Based on what I know, as they are currently constituted, charters,Teach For America, and yearly standardized testing are wrong for our high need communities.
Randy Shaw: Instead of becoming a vital training incubator for young teachers committed to improving schools, TFA is just as likely to demoralize young people and turn them away from schools and activism.
Mark Naison: Over time, people of courage and integrity will turn the tide and begin to restore sanity to educational discourse and develop a powerful alliance of teachers, parents and students, supported first by the Occupy movement, and later by unions, religious organizations and progressive politicians.
This week, an article from last July by Mark Naison attracted just a ton of attention. The article is “Why Teach For America Is Not Welcome in My Classroom.”
Mark Naison: It behooves us, as progressive organizers and justice fighters, to keep the lines of communication open to people in these organizations, and be there to work with them if they join us in resistance to policies that concentrate economic sacrifice amongst America’s poor.
Mark Naison: Every spring, without fail, a Teach for America recruiter approaches me and asks if they can come to my classes and recruit students for TFA, and every year, without fail, I give them the same answer: “Sorry.”
Craig Williams: As progressives, we should also argue that educators need more funding just to deal with the increased poverty created in large part by the private sector.
Leonard Isenberg: Using a pejorative word like “antiquated” to describe “last hired, first fired,” simplistically ignores at least the arguable logic that those who have done it longer tend to do it better.
Mark Naison: In a country with one of the highest rates of poverty in the industrialized world, with almost no social safety net to help struggling families, our teachers have to create a positive learning atmosphere in classrooms filled with young people under stress.