Teach For America is facing headwind. Several states have cut back funding and TFA has revealed that they are short of their lofty recruiting goals that were set when they received $50 million from Arne Duncan a few years ago. (See all of Cloaking Inequity’s posts on Teach For America here). Today I was contacted by two different individuals from the Bay Area about Teach For America. Jose Luis Pavon contacted me to relay that the San Francisco school board is reconsidering Teach For America. I will begin the post with his letter. Later in the day, I received a phone call from a TFA corp member who relayed a tell-all. I will conclude with her letter. (See also Tell-All From A TFA and KIPP Teacher: Unprepared, Isolation, Shame, and Burnout and “I felt Strange and Guilty”: Annie Tan @TeachForAmerica alum speaks) Jose Luis Pavon’s letter:
Dear Parents, Educators and Allies,
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April 25, 2015 at 02:52
I cannot fathom how a school district can accept TFA for special education teaching roles.
April 25, 2015 at 08:05
It depends on the school board and the district administration hired by the school board. TFA is an organization that focuses on turning our future leaders and/or influencers in public education who end up supporting the corporate education reform movement. They do not focus on turning out great teachers. The goal of TFA is to discover among their recruits individuals who will then go on to lead school districts, and work for members of Congress in positions of power and influence.
TFA is nothing but a tool of the corporate education reform movement to achieve its neo-liberal Milton Friedman thinking goals.
At the same time, the billionaire oligarchs, who are funding the corporate education reform agenda to destroy public education, are contributing grotesque sums of money to candidates running for public office starting at the school board level in hundreds if not thousands of school districts—the focus has been mostly in large districts up to now (even attempting to take over entire states—getting their people elected state governors and to state legislatures, supporting their people for Congress and even the White House. The last three presidents have clearly been their presidents—not ours—when it comes to supporting the corporate education reform movement: Bill Clinton, G. W. Bush and Obama.
For instance, the Walton family spent decades funding voucher initiatives in the states by getting them put on ballots, but they were defeated repeatedly so the Waltons, just like the Koch brothers and Bill Gates (among a few others), started to contribute heavily to the political campaigns of politicians who would do what they wanted because that way they don’t need the approval of the voter at the ballet box to get what they want.
The result, the corporate education reform movement ends up controlling who appoints judges in the court system to rule in their favor and hires school district administrators. In fact, Eli Broad, another one of the billionaire oligarchs, even funds his own Broad Academy to train school district administrators and school principals who will support the corporate reform movement’s goals once they are in positions of power in individual public school school districts.
In reality, a few billionaires are buying America out from under its people and they now have at least four, if not five, of the justices in the Supreme Court who will rule the way they want. That explains the Citizens United Ruling that lifted the limit on campaign spending for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. It took decades to pack the supreme court. The oligarchs are in it for the long run and they have goals that may live on even after they die because most if not all of them have set up tax sheltered foundations to carry on after they are gone.
If you want to know who most of these billionaire oligarchs are, I suggest you read