The title isn’t right. In this post, Mercedes Schneider refers to a post by Gary Rubinstein, in which Gary speculated whether Teach for America might evolve into a different kind of organization, something closer to its original idea of placing young teachers where there were shortages, rather than boasting that they are better than anyone else, including experienced teachers.

Mercedes says the likelihood of TFA abandoning its currently lucrative role is as likely as donkeys flying.

She writes:

Trying to extract “reform” from TFA is not possible. TFA is corporate reform, and TFA without corporate reform leaves only legitimately trained, career-intended, non-ladder-climbing, dedicated teachers.

Non-corporate-reform TFA would have to publicly admit that teaching is an actual profession and that the TFA product is at best a two-dimensional, cardboard cut-out of a substitute. Such an admission would be TFA’s undeniably-market-reform undoing.

Ironically, trying to conceal the inadequacy of her product is also leading to the undoing of TFA. However, one issue is clear about Wendy Kopp: She operates from a corporate mindset. She intends to make TFA ever-bigger, ever more influential.

She then reviews TFA’s 990 forms, which every nonprofit files with the IRS every year.

The goal of TFA became one of advancing the privatization of public education, of offering market-model-indoctrinated, rotating staffing to not only traditional districts, but to market-model charter schools– and of supplanting traditional public education administration with TFA alums zealous about advancing the TFA brand. I live in a state– Louisiana– in which a former TFAer-gone-TFA-exec was politically placed into the position of state superintendent– John White– and he and one TFA executive-as-state board-member– Kira Orange-Jones– have made it their business to feed TFA a million-dollar contract that includes paying TFA a temp fee of up to $9,000 per TFA recruit.

In 2013-14, TFA’s total assets were $494 million.

$32 million was from “service fees.”

$73.5 million was from “government grants.”

But TFA does not only operate via taxpayer money in the form of temp fees. TFA is a corporate-reform-advancing machine. TFA draws millions from the Waltons and Broad, among other obscenely-moneyed corporate reformers.

In 2013-14, TFA garnered $208 million in “other contributions.”

Without test-score-obsessed corporate reform, there is no TFA machine. But with the strategic, national push to replace the community school with the under-regulated, cheaply-staffed, non-union charter, TFA can continue to be a machine– so long as the corporate reform model retains a hold around the throat of American public education.

In addition, she reports on some hefty salaries.

It is a good business. But it is not at all good for the teaching profession since it promotes the idea that teachers don’t need professional preparation. Anyone with a high SAT score can do it. For two years anyway. Except that it is not true. And continuing to push this claim encourages legislatures to lower standards for entry into teaching. And encourages Congress to insert amendments that interns (TFA) can be counted as “highly qualified teachers.”