Thursday, October 10, 2013

Glad to Read This

Good for this writer who refuses to write letters of recommendation for Scabs for America unless they are among the few who are education majors.

It goes to the simple issue of competence:

There is a movement rising in every city of this country that seeks true education reform—not the kind funded by billionaires, corporations, and hedge funds, and organized around their values. This movement consists of public school parents and students, veteran teachers, and ex-TFA corps members. It also consists of a national network of college students, such as those in Students United for Public Education, who talk about the damage TFA is inflicting on communities and public schools. These groups and others also acknowledge the relationship between the corporatization of higher education and the vast impact of corporate reform on our youngest and most needy children. It is these children who are harmed by the never-ending cycle of under-trained, uncertified, first- and second-year teachers that now populates disadvantaged schools, and by the data-obsessed approach to education that is enabled by these inexperienced teachers.

Every year, TFA installs thousands of unprepared 22-year-olds, the majority of whom are from economically and culturally privileged backgrounds, into disadvantaged public schools. They are given a class of their own after only five to six weeks of training and a scant number of hours co-teaching summer school (in a different city, frequently in a different subject, and with students in a different age group than the one they end up teaching in the fall). College and university faculty allow these well-meaning young people to become pawns in a massive game to deprofessionalize teaching. TFA may look good on their resum├ęs and allow them to attain social capital for their bright futures in consulting firms, law schools, and graduate schools. But in exchange for this social capital, our students have to take part in essentially privatizing public schools.

Even if you go through a traditional education program, you are NEVER fully prepared for what lies ahead in a public school. It's very high stress, and especially if you work in the lower grades, you are sick a lot of the time (contrary to what some teachers have told me, you NEVER build up an immunity to these sicknesses). Worst of all is if you get stuck with a batshit crazy or an incompetent or ruthless principal who can make your life hell.

Going through a scab program is no training at all and an insult to the teaching profession.

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