As only EduShyster could, she asks a rude question.
Do affluent white people make the best teachers?
EduShyster is wrong, though. TFA actually places more minorities in the classroom than traditional avenues. According to the Center for American Progress, black and Latino teachers make up only 14.6% of the workforce, but the 2012 TFA corps is 23% black and Latino.
Although, I think pointing out that recruiting from the top third of college graduates could have unintended consequences is very important.
I was only referring to the excellence of Corps members–TFA actually does a very good job of attracting diverse candidates. But Dienne is absolutely right: the percentage of African American teachers in particular is plummeting in urban areas as public schools are either turned around or closed and replaced by charters. In Chicago the percentage of African American teachers has gone from 45% to 19% since 1995. In Boston, the population of charter school teachers is MUCH younger and whiter than the teachers in district schools. But even if TFA succeeds in placing a diverse group of recruits in urban schools, they’re not staying for long. As teaching becomes a field that top recruits do for a few years, it ceases to be an entryway, particularly for African Americans and Latinos, into the middle class. The announcement just today that charter schools in New Orleans will no longer provide pensions is another nail in that particular coffin…
Even if TFA’s stats about its minority recruitment are true, which I doubt since the organization has a pronounced tendency to be deceptive and duplicitous about everything, the fact remains that the corporate education reform they represent has resulted in the purging of huge numbers of minority teachers.
Here in NYC, and in Chicago as well, the number of minority teachers has fallen drastically since the advent of the mayoral control/privatization regime, and having some minority temps from elite colleges will not change that.
If that’s the case, I would really love to see some studies and numbers that show that.
For NYC: http://www.edwize.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/report-of-the-uft-civil-and-human-rights-committee-on-teacher-diversity-pdf
For Chcago: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/10/us-usa-schools-analysis
Neither of those links worked….
Just go back through Diane’s archives – she has plenty of posts covering this very subject.
All but one of the TFA ers at my 85% hispanic school are white. The traditional faculty here is very mixed.
(I know this as anecdotal evidence…but it is a fact).
That’s a shame.
Well, except that TFA teaches (or perhaps I should say “teaches”) exclusively in areas with high minority populations – i.e., in black and Latino areas. Such areas used to have much higher proportions of minority teachers – upwards of 50%, I believe. So even with allegedly 23% minority, that’s a significant drop.
That’s a solid point. Would love to seem some data backing that up.
Why, of course. Just look at the economic record of the past thirty years or so. By unleashing our elites or perhaps you prefer the term “job creators,” we’ve created an utopia the likes the world hasn’t seen with benefits “trickling down” like manna from heaven. Just like our educational system, we’ll be better off than we were under the “socialism” of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
It’s just another manifestation of class warfare from our political donor class.
Just see this as an article to widen the gap. It is racist! Where are the affluent minorities going. They too do not wish to work in school.
No race of any group of people is better or worse than the other. All can be equally incompetent, criminal or good. Teaching is no different. One thing I have noticed over the more than 20 years of working school fraud is that those with the higher degrees give more excuses for fraud and theft than those in the inner city. In the inner city they are constantly exposed to fraud they seem to understand it better and have less excuses for it especially in their schools.
When I first started looking into teaching, I checked the qualifications for the TFA program. I think one of them was that applicants had to have graduated from college with a 3.0 GPA. I hadn’t, but it had been ten years since I graduated, and in that time I’d gotten As in several graduate level courses. Did this count? No, said TFA. Apparently, my academic success or lack thereof ten years earlier was much more important than anything I’d done recently.
My guess would be that the bigger turn off for them was precisely the fact that it had been ten years since you’d graduated and whatever you’d done in between. TFA likes ’em young and tender, if you will.
I bet if we trace back the increased use of college $$ loans, we also see a correlation of students taking teaching jobs in urban schools until their student loans are forgiven. I have been an educator for 40 years, and suspect that this influx of students stopping long enough for the $$ and then going on to other careers. Teaching has become a drive-thru, not a career. Now with RttT, there will be other consequences – not necessarily for the betterment of teaching and learning.
and thank goodness for the purging so many of the ” minority” teachers, had the I got mine you got yours to get. Sure there were good teachers not enough to go around. It seemed to be a fashion , sorority meeting. technology, math no, sports, modeling , fashion yes not enough caring, interest in the children unless they need your family.
A rather sardonic colleague of mine once quoted his father’s analogous view of the mission of private school education: “Teaching Jews how to act like Anglicans.” That appears to be the TFA model as well, judging by EduShyster’s report, teaching African American children how to perform like their white brothers and sisters on the other side of the achievement gap. Does it work? TFA’s “research” was, I have heard, at the basis of the “value added” teacher analysis. That says an “excellent” teacher in an elementary classroom moves a student ahead a year and a half on the grade level curriculum. An “ineffective” teacher moves her elementary classroom ahead only one-half curricular year per calendar year. A “good” teacher moves a classroom ahead a year for a year. After two years of “excellent” teachers, their students will already be a year ahead of students taught by “ineffective” teachers. Carry that calculation through elementary school, and by the end of it students who have had “excellent” teachers for six years will be three years ahead of their age peers in curricular competence.
As others have pointed out, that may be a mere correlation rather than a cause because the “excellent” teachers tend to turn up in classrooms with already talented students, whereas the “poor” teachers get assigned to the classrooms with “poor” students (literally and academically). The rich get rich and the poor get poorer. Garbage in, garbage out, in the language of the computer programmer, but applied to real people, suffering souls to be sure.
BUT, what if “excellent” teachers (judged solely by their own academic performance in elite colleges) were uniformely assigned to classrooms of “poor” students, would the achievement gains for those students parallel those seemingly achieved in the classrooms filled with talented students. The reform movement seems to assume so, though no one dares speak its name, that the problem over the last 30 years has been the presence in classrooms of upward socially mobile by academically under-equipped teachers in the name of affirmative action.
But is it true? And what kind of research design would be able to show it? Or do we just label such questions as “elitist” and “racist” and not even attempt to answer them because they are legitimately offensive to our moral and equalitarian sensibilities.
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