Gary Rubinstein told me a year or so ago that the corporate reform movement was living on borrowed time.
He believes that its ideas are so destructive and ill-conceived that it is certain to implode as failure after failure drags it down and as the public realizes that its public schools are being ruined.
In this post, he tries to figure out how Teach for America might salvage its reputation as the ship goes down. He explores his own hope that the original idea of TFA—recruiting top college graduates to teach–might survive.
He suggests that there are two different TFA legacies: One is the privatization/testing group (Rhee, John White, etc.), and the other consists of realists who have joined the education profession or found other ways to be constructive. He looks to the latter group as a saving remnant when the great ship Corporate Reform founders, as it inevitably must.
I find it hard to share Gary’s sunny optimism. I agree with him that corporate reform is a disaster and that it will collapse and die, weighted down by its failures and its inability to achieve its goals. But TFA has benefited so handsomely from the “reforms” and has produced so many of the leaders, that it is hard to see how the one good idea that launched TFA gets disassociated.
But I would like to believe. Is Gary right? Will he be the one who helped save TFA?