Blog For America!

Teach For America teachers have been blogging for years during and after their time as a corps member. But the organization has been blogless…until now: Pass the Chalk is TFA’s formal foray into the blogosphere.  Wendy is on Twitter, now this blog, what’s next…a podcast!?

14 Replies to “Blog For America!”

  1. And this is???

    Who we are
    Teach For Us is the organization that connects Teach For America teachers with each other for support and shares their stories with the broader public. All TFA corps members and alumni can get a blog by registering with a TFA email address. Those who blog here are in good company. Our site is host to hundreds of blogs serving thousands of visitors each month.

    Teach For Us is a registered nonprofit Missouri corporation.

    More background
    TeachFor.Us, as it was originally called, was developed during the founder’s time at summer training institute and publicly launched July 23, 2006. The concept stemmed from the idea that if he had the inclination to blog about his experience, it was likely that others did, too. It was his belief that the collective voice of a community could resonate louder than blogging alone, however there was no existing site or mechanism for this to happen. Sometime in between lesson planning and copy-room runs, the site was born.

    In 2008, Teach For America began publicly recognizing Teach For Us as a source of finding out “what it’s truly like to be a Teach For America corps member” by placing a link on its Our corps members page. It wasn’t long before major media outlets and even public policy think tanks started to recognize us, too.

    In 2010, the site became a registered nonprofit and relaunched under the name Teach For Us.

  2. Sadly TFA has evolved from an organizationt that aimed to place good teachers in urban schools, at a time when these schools had many substitutes, to one that is perpetuating the status quo of placing the least experienced teachers in the most challenging schools. This disgraceful practice has been the norm since the 1950s. Ironically this is happening at a time when the recession has made it possible for the first time in many years to hire fully qualified teachers with track records of success. But cash-strapped schools, when faced with a choice between inexpensive Miss Jones from Yale or expensive, experienced and successful Miss Smith, is opting for Miss Jones. Naturally, this is only happening in schools for the poor.

    Let’s all hope for an end to the status quo of placing the least experienced teachers in the most challenging schools. This disgraceful practice has gone on since the 1950s and needs to end. Maybe the ACLU will put a stop to it. Poor kids have a right to equal educational opportunities and that begins with a fully qualified and experienced teacher.

  3. From the Onion’s epic takedown of TFA: “Graduating high school is the only way for me to get out of the malignant cycle of poverty endemic to my neighborhood and to many other impoverished neighborhoods throughout the United States. I can’t afford to spend these vital few years of my cognitive development becoming a small thread in someone’s inspirational narrative.”

    The truth is a b…. isn’t it, Wendy?

  4. Retired Navy XO here. Let’s get VERY honest about the TFA.
    They ONLY require a two year hitch. THe military, without doubt at least 2 magnitudes more successful than TFA, makes its best talent commit to at least 5 years. It’s academy officers must commit to 7 years.

    Wendy said that a 1 year hitch attracted 75% of potential recruits. 2 years attracted half of that. 3 years attracted half of the 2 year recruits. And 4 years attracted NO ONE.

    TFA is nothing but a BOX CHECK. It is a revolving door for millenials who want the public service check off for their precious career. Notice that Wendy acts as mother hen and SHELTERS her Ivey charges. They are NEVER far from their insulated network. She even objects to their names being published in the paper.

    TFA recruits would NEVER get out there and COMPETE in the marketplace of ideas and scientific talent. These liberal arts majors are desperately looking for some kind of purpose for their four years of summer camp.

    TFA is THEIR opportunity to help THEMSELVES. It has nothing to do with the students.

  5. TFA has NOT delivered the kind of results that warrant continued support by the FDOE. TFA gets a nice wad of moola from us.

    And Wendy knows the truth. Mediocre results in the turbulent field of ed. reform spells “death”. Wendy lived by this maxim: Innovate at all cost. And now that her track record is firming up, the future is clear. TFA is mediocre, does not serve poor children, and is on the chopping block of blind innovation.

    Hey Wendy, you lived by the sword, and now you will die by the sword. Let the markets work. And market discipline says, “Wendy is out.”

  6. In the simplest of terms, talented people in our country aspire to be a “data visualization analyst” or the “managing director” of something or other, but our best students are discouraged from teaching more than two years in our nation’s classrooms; and that pretty much sums up one of our main problems in education. Now we are in the process of deprofessionalizing the people who are devoting their lives to the education of the young. You don’t need to have a degree from Harvard to guess where that will take us.

    We can do better and I believe we will.

  7. Although TFA started out with the laudable goal of placing talented teachers in urban classrooms, it is now helping to legitimize the shameful status quo practice of placing the least experienced teachers in our most challenging schools.

    Will the ACLU put a stop to this? I hope so.

  8. Jonathon, do you get the idea of self-awareness? What I really like about your message is how well you validate the critique of TFA. Neither you nor your wife are teachers. You moved on with a higher degree now working for a CMSO and your wife is running a non-profit which meddles in the affairs of schools. Beautiful. Well-done, Wendy, you cupid you!

    Kudos to Aspire Public Schools for getting away with using the word “public” in their name. You know, most individuals can’t get away with such misrepresentation but you gotta love the charter mindset–it’s nothing if not daring and innovative.

  9. Gunn HIgh School in Palo Alto, California. Just across the bay from UC Berkeley.

    Not a single TFA’r in its midst. Gunn is one of the top math and science schools in the nation according to USN&WR. Perhaps Mr. R would like to ask why?

    It is time to stop the wonking. Let’s look at an extremely successful math and science schools and ask the tough questions: Why can’t this success be replicated elsewhere? What forces are at play at Gunn that give it the edge, and pushes others schools into failure or painful mediocrity? Does Gunn have a teacher’s union? Does Gunn use student performance data to rate teachers? Do they use student surveys to rate teachers?


    And there will be NO WONKING in response to this train of thought. Wonking is for those who cannot do anything worthwhile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.