Karen Lewis spoke up on my behalf when a TFA officer denounced my post “The Hero Teachers of Newtown”) as “reprehensible. Lewis then became the object of attacks from outraged bloggers and tweeters saying that she literally accused TFA of murder. Lewis said no such thing. This was a fine example of the dark art of twisting words. Katie Osgood, who teaches children in a psychiatric hospital in Chicago and has her own blog, here defends Lewis:

“Lewis was not speaking about TFA specifically, but about the Corporate Ed Reform movement as a whole with which TFA is closely aligned. And yes, the corporate education reforms plaguing Chicago for the past 10+ years have cost precious children their lives. The chaos caused by callous school closings, leading to sending children across the city to “choice” schools crossing gang boundaries has indeed led to increases in youth violence and yes, even deaths. The tragic beating death of Derrion Albert in 2009 is one prime example http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/06/chicago-teen-deaths-viole_n_311877.html

“It is the utter ignorance and arrogance of education reformers, including and especially TFA, which allows terrible policies to get passed. Churn in teaching staff after closings and turnarounds is dangerous to kids who need stability. Charter schools do not serve the neediest students and instead these kids are concentrated in schools purposefully underfunded and neglected causing ever more severe behavior issues in schools given fewer resources to help. Our district buys new tests and “data systems” instead of hiring more social workers, counselors, and nurses which my kids desperately need. Ed Reform creates environments of fear and stress with terrible new evaluation systems and sometimes even pay tied to test scores leaving the people who work directly with the children with less emotional energy to devote to them. Ed Reform also pushes more inexperienced, poorly trained teachers-as the war on veteran teachers, tenure, and unions continues-on the children who need experienced, well-trained teachers the most.”