I periodically post outstanding articles that were written a while ago. “A while” might mean a month ago, six months ago, or years ago.

This article was written by Rachel Levy, a thoughtful essayist. A sample:

It’s time to stop allowing achievement and privilege to masquerade as competence, dedication, and skill. It’s time for the grown-ups who promote TFA to acknowledge that the quality teaching that we all agree is so valuable comes from experience. It’s time to stop letting TFA stand in the way of the committed, skilled, and experienced teachers our kids so desperately need.

This article was written by Barbara Miner, who specializes in investigative journalism. It is an important analysis of the goals and methods of a powerful and well-funded organization. A sample:

To further investigate TFA, I decided to go back to Journalism 101: Follow the money. Which leads, among other places, to the story of Barbara Torre Veltri’s mother.

Torre Veltri is an assistant professor at Northern Arizona University. Last summer, her mother received a letter from Wachovia Securities/Wells Fargo Advisors, dated June 12, 2009, requesting input on a customer service questionnaire. In exchange for her time, the letter promised, “We will make a donation to your choice of one of the following charities: American Red Cross, Teach for America, or the National Council on Aging.”

Torre Veltri’s mother was puzzled. “Why would donations be solicited by [Wachovia Securities/]Wells Fargo for Teach for America?” she asked her daughter. “Since when is teaching some kind of charity?”…..The organization is, without a doubt, a fundraising mega-star. In one day in June 2008, for instance, TFA raised $5.5 million. The event, TFA’s annual dinner, “brought so many corporate executives to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York that stretch limousines jammed Park Avenue for blocks,” the New York Times reported.

This article was written by Andrew Hartman, a professor of history at Illinois State University. A sample:

In working to perfect their approach to education, TFA insurgents miss the forest for the trees. They fail to ask big-picture questions. Will their pedagogy of surveillance make for a more humane society? Having spent their formative years in a classroom learning test-taking skills, will their students become good people? Will they know more history? Will they be more empathetic? Will they be better citizens? Will they be more inclined to challenge the meritocracy? Or, as its newest converts, will they be its most fervent disciples? What does it mean that for children born in the Bronx to go to college they must give up their childhoods, however bleak?

This book by Barbara Torre Veltri (who is mentioned above) is quite interesting, as Veltri has mentored TFA teachers at Northern Arizona University and lets them express their views and concerns in her book, Learning on Other People’s Kids: Becoming a Teach for America Teacher.