In an unusual turn, EduShyster writes a serious article about the increasingly insidious role played by Teach for America today.

The organization began with the laudable goal of supplying teachers to schools where there were chronic shortages.

However, it has become a mainstay of the privatization movement, staffing charters that open as public schools close.

She warns:

“By fueling charter expansion, TFA is undermining public schools

“You wouldn’t know it from the heat of the debate but Teach for America has largely abandoned plans to expand into urban districts in any significant way. Instead, TFA increasingly serves as the designated labor force for urban charters. In Chicago, for example, where charter expansion is the real driver of public school closures and teacher layoffs, TFA has functioned as a placement agency for the fast-growing and politically connected UNO charter chain since 2010. In Philadelphia, where 23 schools were closed this spring and thousands of teachers and support staff laid off, TFA supplies hundreds of new teachers for charters in the city. Of the 257 corps members teaching in Philly in 2012, just 21 were in district schools.”

In addition, the leaders groomed by TFA increasingly are trained exclusively in the charter sector, and consequently,

“TFA views traditional public schools with disdain

“TFA’s shift away from its original mission of serving public schools to becoming a provider of labor for charters also means that its much vaunted leadership pipeline is producing a different kind of leader. TFA increasingly grooms leaders with no experience of traditional public schools. Recent corps members teach in charters, go on to lead charters, or move on to careers in educational policy in which they advocate for more charters. Their first encounter with a public education system will likely be when they are hired to dismantle one.”

As a result, TFA is integrally tied to the forces who are hostile to public education and intent on its privatization.