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Teach for America: Deceive and Receive 0

Posted on June 30, 2010 by dmayer

Readable letters are posted at the end of this article.

What would you do if you recently acquired copies of letters circulating around Congress expressing support for doubling the funding for Teach for America (TFA) from 25 to 50 million of your tax payer dollars. The letters show support of Senators and Representatives, or exceeds, that of experienced and certified teachers in the same schools.

There is no growing body of knowledge that suggests that the teaching of TFA recruits equals or excels the work of professional new or experienced teachers. In fact, there is substantial research to suggest the opposite.

Research shows that the reading and math test scores of students taught by these “low-coursework teachers” actually declined from fall to spring of their first teaching year.

Students who receive three ineffective teachers in a row may achieve at levels that are as much as 50 percentile points lower than students who receive three highly effective teachers in a row. (The Flat World and Education, Linda Darling-Hammond, Teachers College Press, 2010, p. 46-49)

The letters are full of lies. There is no growing body of knowledge that suggests that the teaching of TFA recruits equals or excels the work of professional teachers. TFA recruits are not teachers, and they shouldn”t be expected to know how to teach after only six weeks of boot camp provided by TFA staff who themselves are not educators. And we shouldn”t be expected to pay them to replace a professional when one is available. There is much evidence that suggests TFA recruits harm children.

In a study paid for by TFA, the evidence on members” civic and community involvement shows that Teach for America recruits actually do less than their counterparts who were not hired by the firm. TFA disavows its own study.

The group of leaders that TFA produces is nothing more than a modern “good ol” boys network” with leaders chosen by disciples of the Billionaire Boys Club. Why should Wendy Kopp, who has no education credentials or experience, be the gatekeeper to education leadership and policy positions. My guess is those new leaders aren”t Democrats or Progressives either. If this is true, the Democrats are unwittingly destroying their own future, not to mention betraying a vital segment of their constituency — teachers and people (voters) of color.

Teach for America wants your money, and if you don”t let your Senators and Representatives know of your opposition, they are going to get it, lots of it. According to reports, the support has grown to over 100 members of Congress. Below is an acquired partial list. Please contact your Senators and Representatives. Tell them to instead appropriate money to your ailing local schools. Money given to Teach for America is money wasted. Money given to Teach for America takes from the poorest and gives to the rich.

The vote may take place as soon as this week.

House of Representatives * Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) * Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) * Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) * Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA) * Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) * Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) * Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao (R-LA) * Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) * Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO) * Rep. André Carson (D-IN) * Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) * Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO) * Rep. Stephen Cohen (D-TN) * Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) * Rep. Joseph Courtney (D-CT) * Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) * Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) * Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) * Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) * Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) * Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) * Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) * Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC) * Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) * Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) * Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) * Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-TX) * Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) * Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) * Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) * Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) * Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX) * Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) * Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) * Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) * Rep. Henry Johnson (D-GA) * Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) * Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC) * Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) * Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) * Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) * Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) * Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) * Rep. Jim Marshall (D-GA) * Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) * Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) * Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA) * Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) * Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) * Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) * Rep. Solomon Ortiz (D-TX) * Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) * Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) * Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) * Rep. David Price (D-NC) * Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) * Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA) * Rep. Mike Ross (D-MS) * Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) * Rep. Gregorio Sablan (D-MP) * Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) * Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) * Rep. David Scott (D-GA) * Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) * Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) * Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) * Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) * Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) * Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) * Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) * Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) * Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY)

Senate

* Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) * Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) * Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) * Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) * Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) * Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL) * Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) * Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) * Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) * Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) * Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) * Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) * Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) * Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) * Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) * Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) * Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) * Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) * Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) * Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) * Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) * Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) * Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) * Sen. Harry Reid, Majority Leader (D-NV) * Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) * Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) * Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) * Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) The letters: