Double Option?

In an unusually lame effort to key off the Super Bowl to malign Teach For America Washington Post national education reporter Valerie Strauss managed to find someone who apparently knows next to nothing about either education or football. Hit ’em with some Kenny G?  If you want to know more on the football backstory diehard Buckeye Kevin Huffman has it for you.

4 Replies to “Double Option?”

  1. Unlike Ravitch, who is just dishonest, Strauss doesn’t seem smart enough to know any better.

  2. Alex Trenton Says:
    February 7th, 2011 at 8:31 am
    Unlike Ravitch, who is just dishonest, Strauss doesn’t seem smart enough to know any better.

    From the other end of babes, comes…

    As Kevin Huffman, is e the guy who advances, then backs away from the claim about Rosa Parks in Fairlawn, then in an online discussion advances the falsehood that Fairlawn was about race.

    On the other hand, a TFAer who knows what he’s talking about:

    How My School and District Failed its Students

    The following is by Frank Beard, a graduate of Drake University and a former Teach For America corps member (Kansas City ’08). He taught middle school science, social studies, and communication arts in the Kansas City, Missouri School District.

    A large number of this country’s schools are failing its students—but not in the way that many columnists, education reformers, or school experts would have you believe.

    From 2008 to 2010, I taught at the middle school level in Kansas City as a Teach For America corps member. But don’t worry, I’m not going rehash Freedom Writers, and I certainly won’t tell one of those sappy “this is why I Teach For America” stories.

    Instead, I want to offer some very candid thoughts about why I think my district and school were such abysmal failures.

    When people ask me what I believe was the number one barrier to student achievement at my school, I always offer the same answer: the failure of the school and district to address chronically disruptive students. It was a problem created by negligent leaders who willingly allowed a free-for-all environment that was conducive to chaos instead of learning.

    How My School and District Failed its Students

  3. Well down heh in Alabamma we don’t like no northernuhs comin in and tellin us what do with our childraan. They need to know bout football, cottunh, and not much else. And if they gonna know about football – it best be Auburn football. WAR EAGLE!!

  4. I don’t know where to start, so I’ll go for the easy points first.


    It’s already been pointed out to you what Kevin Huffman had intended with his analogy and why Fairlawn WAS about race even if it was not a singular instance of racism. You hardly ever respond to counterarguments, however, so linking again to this entry is only to remind other readers that you were thick-headed before and continue to be now.


    When Strauss attempts to malign TFA, it is generally through some equally lame approach, like the last time when it was because some anonymous reader sent her a letter about how the big, bad TFA stole all teh jobz!

    This doesn’t seem so unusual for her, but I’ll gladly give Mr. Lee some pointers for next time he wants to write about TFA:

    * Stop implying that five weeks of training is the only training that TFA corps members receive. Not only is more packed into those five weeks than one will likely find in a 2-year credentialing program, but TFA focuses on constant revision and improvement, and each new teacher has a mentor that observes his/her classes, provides feedback, and demands the same high expectations that are put into place in the classroom. The training extends well into the two years that teacher is part of the program, and the urgency to improve does not falter.

    * The bogus claim that TFA intends to act as a “band aide [sic]” should have been punted long ago, but hopefully TFA’s 20th anniversary summit is making provincial hacks like yourself begin to realize the impact such a program has above and beyond the 2 years that TFA teachers commit to teaching.

    * You are permitted to spend your time wondering, but while you do your readers can also look to the extensive number and quality of studies that suggest TFA teachers have an equal or stronger impact on their students than their non TFA-peers.

    * Don’t worry your head too much about the Texas evaluation, either: it’s already out, and their conclusions were generally positive, as has been the case previously for other TFA reports to come out of Texas.

    * By the way, Mathematica had a better research design than did Darling-Hammond. Guess what the former concluded about TFA effectiveness?

    * You should email those “innovative ideas” to the school board, as surely they never thought of subsidizing the tuition of other teachers, or of improving professional development with those funds instead. Of course, it’s also not a guarantee that outstanding students will be great teachers, or that simply covering their tuition will help make them great, or that an extra few grand into the prof. development will miraculously improve the teacher quality there, and what’s more is the lack of an easy solution in determining what “outstanding” means or what types of prof. development would lead to greatness. But I’m sure that the school board there will be jumping for joy at the offering of such a unique solution for their schools.

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