We are accustomed to reading puff pieces about TFA, to hearing again and again how the “best and the brightest” are sacrificing two years of their lives to save the needy children of America from their wretched teachers, etc.
And we see fund-raising drives for TFA everywhere, on our ATM machine in the bank, as the beneficiary of the recent “Teachers Rock” concert in Los Angeles, as though TFA were a hard-pressed charity, sort of like the Girl Scouts or the March of Dimes.
Here is a refreshingarticle written by Stephanie Simon of Reuters, that lays out the good, the bad, and the ugly.
TFA was created to send smart fresh college graduates to schools serving the neediest children that had acute shortages, in areas like math and science.
The article asks whether TFA lost sight of its mission and has now become a richly endowed corporation that demands payment for its services and is sending teachers to districts that have laid off veteran teachers.
Far from being a needy charity, TFA is a business operation with $300 million in assets.
Some of its graduates are leading the charge for privatization of public education and–despite their own elite education–are promoting test scores as the be-all and end-all of education.
Other organizations suffer from “mission creep.” TFA suffers from “mission abandonment.”