Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Dispatches: A Former TFA Teacher
My name is John Bilby and I was a TFA teacher from September 2009 until March 2010. I left the organization because I felt that it does not adequately prepare its people to serve the poorest children in public schools. I also think that TFA is more interested in power, access, and influence in the federal game of education than it is concerned with resolving educational inequity. Its "corps members" are merely a means to this end, providing the organization with a front while it pursues the goals of its donors, namely to remodel public education in this country in order to favor a high-turnover, non-unionized workforce in charters run by hedge-fund managers for tax breaks. I foresee this further stratifying our public education system into one in which children with disabilities, children who don't speak English, and children who do not do well on standardized tests are funneled into a public education system in a constant state of crisis due to continuous budget cutting. I still believe, however, in the democratic power of public education and the right of the people to vote out those who might infringe upon it, and I am currently enrolled in a traditional route teacher certification program and I am looking forward to getting back into a city classroom soon.