Archives › Teach For America

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Jun 21 2014

Gates Foundation Sends Reformers Scrambling

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Jun 19 2014

The time KIPP was booed off the stage at TFA

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Jun 14 2014

Kanine Years

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Jun 12 2014

Advice to the 2014 TFA Corps Members

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Jun 03 2014

Save teachforus.org!

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Jun 02 2014

Michael Johnston’s Speech at Harvard

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May 20 2014

A Portrait of the Reformer as a Young Man

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Read the post here. The teachforus.org site is not being maintained anymore.  It isn’t even possible, right now, to see the most recent posts.  My guess is that there was too much ‘truth’ on the site so TFA encouraged the people who maintain it to not do so anymore.  For me, it won’t make a…

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May 08 2014

I love the smell of NAEPalm in the morning

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Apr 25 2014

My visit to New Orleans

Follow this link to get to the post on my new blog location. Unfortunately, teachforus.org is not being maintained anymore so it has been crashing for about three months.  I do think that TFA is behind this, but I don’t want to waste energy writing about it. If you subscribe to this blog, please subscribe…

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Apr 15 2014

Arne Debunkin’

A little over three years ago, I first encountered Arne Duncan when he spoke at the TFA 20 year alumni summit and described the miracle school Urban Prep.  He implied that this school had a 100% graduation rate and a 100% college acceptance rate, which inspired me to investigate this clam leading to my very…

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Mar 16 2014

Keeping Important Pinky Promises?

On the subway yesterday, I saw this advertisement for KIPP: The claim is that “Our K-12 public schools promise to see each child to and through college.” One problem with this claim is that even in the most generous study possible, KIPP’s own, only a third of students who completed KIPPs middle schools eventually graduated…

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TFA has been recently taking a beating in social media.  Whether in response to this, or if it is just something that’s been planned for a while, the two co-CEOs Elisa Villanueva-Beard and Matt Kramer were part of a live webcast tonight called ‘What’s Next at Teach For America?” This was an hour long live…

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Feb 28 2014

TFA answers my FOIA-like request

Though education ‘reformers’ always speak of the need for transparency, Teach For America is one of the least transparent organizations out there.  Though they get a lot of public money, I don’t think that there is a way to FOIA their internal records so we are often left with their interpretations of the data with…

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Recently, several people have contacted me with interesting stories they wanted to share with the people who read this blog.  In the coming weeks there will be more guest posts like this one from Bryn Mawr College senior Emma Gulley. How Interning for Teach For America Convinced me of its Injustice Over the past several…

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In April, 2012, The New NY Education Reform Commission was created by Governor Andrew Cuomo.  The members of the committee are a diverse group ranging from high profile ‘reformers’ like Waiting For Superman hero Geoffrey Canada to low profile ‘reformers’ like Waiting For Superman villian Randi Weingarten.  They released two reports recently, a 92 page…

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A rising superstar in education is Rutgers student Stephanie Rivera, who I first wrote about last year.  Stephanie just published a very compelling blog post called To All The Teachers Telling Us To Not Go Into Teaching, Stop.  In response to the recent flood of videos and blog posts by frustrated teachers, Stephanie suggests that…

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On February 12, 2013, founder and long time CEO of TFA, Wendy Kopp, stepped down.  Two new co-CEOs were appointed, Elisa Villanueva-Beard and Matt Kramer. Elisa was a 1998 corps member and Matt had never taught.  Both were working as very high administrative positions in TFA before this recent promotion. I was pretty surprised by…

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The old math standards, say common core defenders, were “a mile wide and an inch deep.”  I’m inclined to agree with this.  Too many topics and too little time led to teachers having no choice but to teach many topics at a superficial level.  As time in a math class is a somewhat fixed quantity…

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Last month I wrote a post called ‘The Death of math’ which got a lot of attention as I described how I’d improve math teaching in this country by significantly reducing the number of topics taught and by making math optional after 8th grade.  A line that got quoted a lot when people tweeted about…

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I remember when I taught in Houston back in the early 1990s and felt it was a crime that my school did not offer any real computer programming course.  The best they had was something called ‘computer applications’ where students would spend the semester mastering things like Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.  I felt that…

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By a somewhat frustrated 1991 alum


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