Ed Week’s Sawchuk writes-up some of Teach For America’s ongoing growth and feedback work and in the process profiles the great Lisa Stone ( née Guido) who holds the unique distinction of being the first Education Sector intern and the last 21st Century Schools Project intern among her various accomplishments.
Teach For America, along with, for instance, KIPP, The New Teacher Project, and ventures like AUSL are in different ways at the leading edge of the sort of human resource practices American education will have to embrace to create a real profession for teachers and improve student outcomes. For instance, no school district in the country has a career ladder as well developed as KIPP does and no one uses data as effectively to drive internal change as TFA. Some ideas and more on all that here (pdf).
Yet as Mark Twain reminds us, few things are as annoying as a good example and that’s as true in American public education as anywhere (and especially where TFA is concerned). So right now established interests are more likely to respond with bad behavior like this than actually try to learn from any of this work – for the most part they’re generally unaware of it. The point here is not that there are not good things happening within the traditional system as well — I’m on the boards of two nationally recognized colleges of education so I think there are — but there is little effort made to learn from these leading ventures, and a lot of effort expended to tear them down.
4 Replies to “Everybody Must Get Stone(d)!”
Bad Behavior? Let me get this straight. NEA=make sure that single mother teachers get to stay in the middle class and maybe see their own kids get into college. TFA= Program that allows Smith College graduates to talk about “those poor kids” while they summer in Cape Cod and wonder if next semester they might get into Wharton.
By the way, when most teachers get stoned they run the risk of getting fired. When TFA folks get stoned, they just get another good story to tell at Alumni Weekend.
I was waiting all day for some misguided TFA bashing, thanks Lou.
I wasn’t aware that the Smith –> Wharton path was so common. Who knew?
I hope that that single mother teacher’s kids being taught by other single mother teachers just trying to put bread on the table don’t wind up going to Smith and then maybe Wharton. The horror. They might think they’ve succeeded in life, but then they’d have to encounter Lou’s juvenile class resentments.