So, yes, for better or worse, TFA will still be relevant for many years to come. We live in an imperfect world, and while TFA may not be a perfect solution, neither are the conditions for recruiting and retaining teachers in urban and rural schools.
Teacher diversity is an educational civil right for our students. The research is clear that a diverse teaching force is essential to ensuring high-quality education for all students, and especially for students of color.
TFA alum and scholar Terrenda White says that TFA's diversity gains have come at the expense of teachers of color, whose numbers have declined drastically in the very cities where the organization has expanded.
It takes a lot of nerve for the head of a huge teaching organization known to have an overwhelmingly white membership to play the diversity card against another teaching organization that has 50 percent teachers of color, yet in the crazy world of education politics, it happened.
This past weekend, the NextGenVest team headed to the Teach For America 25th Anniversary Summit in Washington D.C. It was incredible to see an organization facilitate candid discussions about tough topics -- from the school to prison pipeline, to the need for more diverse educators.
While this past weekend found TFA celebrating what they call 25 years of success, the event marked another chapter in TFA's "movement" to displace teachers, deprofessionalize teaching, and privatize education.
On Saturday, February 6, Teach For America founder and current CEO of Teach For All, Wendy Kopp, spoke to more than 15,000 Teach For America alumni, corps members, staff, and supporters at TFA's 25th Anniversary Summit in Washington, DC.
While I respect that my students might be excited to join an organization that says it is dedicated to getting young and talented people into classrooms with our most needy students, there is literally nothing positive that Teach For America offers my students that they cannot do for themselves.
The narrative of 'Work Hard, Get Smart' and 'No Excuses' demands individual hero sacrifice. This kind of oversimplified idealism encouraged dehumanizing behaviors among many TFA corps members and negatively impacted their well-being as people and as teachers.
f young people serving in the military have chaplains, why not have chaplains for those serving in our communities? This is why the Center for Faith and Service has launched the National Service Chaplaincy Initiative.
Ten years after Katrina, many claim the changes to New Orleans education are a resounding victory. But at what costs? The disadvantaged schools have achieved these score increases by creating an education force led by advantaged, white outsiders, And I was one of them.
The ADA changed the game for our students and teachers with disabilities. It sought to give them -- and all Americans with disabilities -- access to public buildings, transportation systems, and sidewalks, and universally designed these spaces to be inclusive of all.
Teachers, of course, can lead the way, not toward some false utopia embodied in the privatizing, anti-union, agenda of the testing moguls but in education's humanistic roots -- providing young people with multiple pathways to success.