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Baron Walden's Comments

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Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 15:39:28 in Education

“I know a few poor white people in my Corps...really poor. They made the cut, but they are also proven leaders that know the experience of poverty first-hand. People of color get rejected too. I know several. Now what? Wait till you see the training in other "professions" . Laughable. You get training in the field, not in college.”

rob roy on Jul 4, 2012 at 20:44:07

“Proven leaders? I did all that leadership crap in college. I had the diverse resume BS. I sat on the school's elected governing board and oversaw a ten million dollar budget. I managed a local business. I sold advertising for the school's radio station. I lived in my car when I screwed up a form my first year of college and was rejected financial aid and had to chose between rent or tuition. I worked three jobs while being a fulltime student. Perhaps I was rejected because my B- average at the University of California wasn't "good enough." I can accept that. But (and yes this is anecdotal), because of the people I know that were accepted, I think there were other factors. Regardless, my initial post was merely meant to be an allusion to Mad TV's "Nice White Lady" sketch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVF-nirSq5s
Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 15:11:43 in Education

“And if you don't use standardized tests to evaluate teaching, what do you use? Every field requires standards. Many business leads have been fired for "unfair standards". Ask any professional about bogus standards of accountability. My fellow teachers, adjust.”

physixchic on Jul 11, 2012 at 08:19:23

“Um, teachers ARE professionals, and I worked as an engineer prior to teaching.  I was not aware of "bogus standards of accountability" during my industry days.  Regardless,  I'm sure you aren't advocating for the use "unfair standards". 
 
If you use standardized test scores to evaluate teachers, NO ONE will want to teach in low-performing schools.  We've had other evaluation tools in place for years... they are based on periodic classroom observations.   They are not perfect tools, either. ”
Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 14:58:22 in Education

“Wrong, blind jester. Completing a degree or programs not "doing the work". The work is done inthe field. WHO ON THIS SITE THINKS ACADEMIA PREPARES COLLEGE STUDENTS FOR THEIR FIRST JOBS? You don't get good at supply chain management with a supply chain mgt major in B school (my original field). You get it through years of experience as lead, supervisor, account mgr, demand planner, asst. buyer, buyer, etc.”
Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 14:38:45 in Education

“True, true! In our school, we are highly active in the community and on the committees, then we leave. I understand why we leave. How many 22yr olds stay with their first companies or industries? It took me 3 jobs (read: stepping stones) to get into the field of my desire. Then I left to teach. How many difference makers start out as teachers? The results may surprise you. How can we make teaching more desirable? That's the real problem.”
Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 14:33:19 in Education

“Agreed. TFA expects things that traditional teachers scoff at. That's a benefit of being 22, instead of 36 like me. I can't do the things a 22 yr old does, because of obligations. I work longer hours because of it. TFA expects dedication, relentlessness, and optimism. When you higher top students with proven success, you expect a lot, and you want people to be on board with the ideals. The question for me is, how many of us will stick it out past 2 yrs and become exemplary? I know what the workforce is like, it's about staying the course long enough to be good at your job. I don't know that our education system makes it preferable. The kids keep us aroun in spite of the system...but for how long?”
Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 14:22:07 in Education

“I left a successful business career at 36 to teach kids that look like me. I'm hardly a temp. I know of at least 10 others in that situation. We have a lack of support from our administration, usually. What teacher doesn't lack support? Problems native to TFAers are native to teachers in general. Have you forgotten what it's like?”
Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 14:15:33 in Education

“And on that note, I know of NUMEROUS education majors and minors I our Corps. Are they unprepared with all their college coursework. Of course they are. Ask around of your traditional teachers (lord knows I have)....in no manner did their schools prepare them for teaching kids 2-3 yrs behind grade level, some withn SPED requirements. Time in the field is what matters. I'm VERY critical of TFA, but I am also trying to be fair here.”
Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 14:04:18 in Education

“Ok, in year 1, my students had the highest math scores in the school, 3rd highest reading. Now, with a staff of veteran teaches, and all of my 5weeks of training, how am I able to muster high scores in spite of my inexperience? Good training. Relentless determination. The same traits taught in the School of Education at your local U.”
Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 19:13:52 in Education

“Povertt does not have to be reality, how is that a myth? Indianapolis '11 Corps member”

KatieOsgood on Jul 1, 2012 at 21:33:50

“One more thing, my favorite scholar on this subject, Paul Thomas, sums it up well here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/12/21/1047543/-Christmas-Miracle-2011-Poverty-Matters Take particular notice of this statement in regards to TFA: "If we believe schools are revolutionary, a door to an equitable society, why do we maintain a school system that privileges affluent students by placing them in the smallest classes with the most experienced and qualified teachers (see the disproportionate by socioeconomic status access to Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs as well as the correlation of SAT scores and socioeconomic status) while promoting the experimentation of teacher assignments (Teach for America) with the student populations fairing less well in our schools—children in poverty, children of color, special needs students, and English language learners? Regardless of the words any of us, regardless of the slogans, the patterns of the system we create and tolerate reveal where our true commitments lie."

TFA's claim that "poverty is not destiny" is contradictory considering that TFA's very presence in a school is contingent on poverty. Kids get more untrained, inexperienced teachers BECAUSE they are in high-poverty schools. It is unjust.

I leave you with this, would a brand-new TFA member be allowed to teach in the schools of the elite? If you think an uncertified, poorly-trained novice would not be welcome in our top schools, then ask yourself why do we tolerate it for our nation's poor?”

KatieOsgood on Jul 1, 2012 at 21:25:46

“TFA alum Gary Rubinstein said it well when he says, "[T]he expression ‘poverty is not destiny’ makes me cringe because I see it as a misleading way to manipulate uninformed people to support a movement that I view as a threat to the education system....The bigger problem I have with ‘poverty is not destiny’ is that in it, there is an implied last part. ‘Poverty is not destiny’ is short for ‘Poverty is not destiny since poor kids with good teachers do just fine so if we just fire all the bad teachers and replace them with more of those good ones then every student will excel, get excellent standardized test scores, graduate high school in 4 years, not become a teenage parent during high school, go on to college and graduate there in 4 years too.’

Thinking that the obstacles of poverty can be overcome by having better teachers really disrespects how much it takes to overcome those obstacles." (http://garyrubinstein.teachforus.org/2012/03/12/what-does-poverty-is-not-destiny-mean-to-you/ )

I believe in improving and reforming schools, but schools and teachers alone cannot eradicate the achievement gap. And to ignore social contexts brought on by the gross inequalities in our society and to instead claim great teachers are enough is incorrect and cruel. Claiming "poverty is not destiny" is an excuse to do nothing about poverty.”
Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Who Joins Teach for America? The Answer May Surprise You

Commented Jul 1, 2012 at 19:05:40 in Education

“Stop talking unless you know what you're talking about”

TFT on Jul 1, 2012 at 19:30:41

“That's great advice. Heed it.”