TFA is clearly a very successful operation. It places some 10,000 or so young college graduates in the nation’s schools each year, after giving them five weeks of training. They commit to stay for two years but some stay for three or four, and a few stay longer. Districts pay TFA $2,000-5,000 for each recruit.

According to a recent article in Reuters, TFA has assets of $300 million.

TFA has an awesome fund-raising machine. It won $50 million from the U.S. Department of Education; another $49.5 million from the very conservative Walton Foundation; $100 million from a consortium of four foundations; and untold millions from corporate donors.

This reader wondered why JC Penny was collecting donations for TFA. Another reader said that other big corporations are also fund-raising for TFA. When I went to my bank’s ATM, I was informed that I could donate $1 to TFA.

This reader asks why TFA is so aggressive in advancing its own power:

1)enormous sums of money are being thrown at TFA (hint: they may be valuable to someone’s bottom line)

2) TFA members getting into policy positions after 2 or 3 years of teaching (why waste time getting expertise. Be an impatient optimist)

3) State Ed policy positions becoming increasingly closed to people who don’t have TFA or Broad credentials (according to someone I know who is highly placed in a State BoE)

4) public education going through a corporate funded regime change (Walton/Broad/Gates)

5) TFA being associated with a broader movement that is being used to dismantle and take over public schools (coincidentially lining pockets)

6) TFA participating in expedient policy (such as 60 students in a class in Detroit)

7) the complex connections between TFA leadership and other interested parties in the edreform movement. One might follow the money (Murdoch/Klein/Rhee)

But, if you’re still having trouble following the argument, let’s just quit. Sometimes humor makes the better point. or this: