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Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:15 AM

 

Teach for America: Where's all the money going? (Education deform politicking)

Today’s $1 billion question: how much excellence does $1 billion buy? The answer is muchos, muchos excellence—if you happen to be Teach for America. $1 billion is roughly the amount that TFA has managed to raise in the past five years, earning it a spot on Forbes list of the 200 largest US charities. Even in today’s union-stifled climate of non-innovation, that’s a lot of excellence. A little perspective: $1 billion is enough to pay every one of TFA’s 28,000 alumni a bonus of $35,000, just for being outstanding. It’s even enough to pay each of TFA’s 16 officers six figure salaries—and still have a cool $300 million left over for additional excellence.

But all this crass and inappropriate talk about money leads to an even more crass and inappropriate question: why DOES Teach for America need so much dough? Now the obvious answer is that providing poor, minority students with Ivy League-caliber freshness and excellence is an expensive proposition. Or at least that’s the case for the school districts that have to cough up a finders fee of up to $5,000 for each TFA recruit, in addition to paying their salaries. The only part of the transaction that TFA actually pays for is the brief summer training that recruits receive prior to bringing their excellence into the classroom.

Ooops—scratch that. When the state of Ohio and a group of private foundations ponied up more than $2 million to bring 30-40 TFA recruits to Northeast Ohio this fall, the savvy bloggers at the excellently named Plunderbund discovered that TFA was billing the schools for much of the cost of the summer training.

So if TFA isn’t spending the money it raises to bring excellence and freshness into schools that formerly knew only LIFO lifer darkness, where is the money going? Reader: I invite you to join me on a little trip down what we might call the “rephormy” brick road. As founder Wendy Kopp explains in this recent interview, recruiting and retaining teachers is only PART of what the organization does. Where TFA REALLY excels is in producing leaders to “effect fundamental change” in education:

Growing numbers of them (are) leading change from within school districts and state departments of education (for example they’re leading the Newark and D.C. school districts, and the state departments of education in Louisiana and Tennessee), others are providing leadership for supporting organizations like The New Teacher Project and the KIPP Network, and still others (are) effecting change as school board members and state legislators and community advocates and organizers. The first-hand experience of teaching in low-income classrooms gives all of them, whether they remain in the classroom or not, a deep understanding of the extent of the problem, and also of the truth that it is solvable and that we have it within our power to give every child an excellent education. They are committed to a lifetime of leadership for solving this problem.


That’s right, reader. When you ponied up $32.50 for this slim fit JCrew Teach For America tee, you thought you were supporting “a nonprofit organization that trains and places recent college graduates in classrooms around the country to ensure that disadvantaged kids get an excellent education”—because that’s what it says in the JCrew catalog. Actually, though, you were funding something a little different: rephorm...Twelve of the 15 TFA alumni who ran for education posts in 2012, including EduShyster phave Josh Reimnitz, won their races, all with major TFA funds to back them up....

http://edushyster.com/?p=1518

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Reply Teach for America: Where's all the money going? (Education deform politicking) (Original post)
HiPointDem Jan 2013 OP
xchrom Jan 2013 #1
dotymed Jan 2013 #2
reteachinwi Jan 2013 #3
Overseas Jan 2013 #4
zeemike Jan 2013 #5
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #6

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:16 AM

1. du rec. nt

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:52 AM

2. Unfortunately, America (95% anyway) seems to be like an alcoholic.

Nothing will change until we have really hit rock bottom. Of course by then it may be too late.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:53 AM

3. Politicians for America

 

Since its founding, TFA has amassed some 28,000 alumni. Two have made Time’s “Most Influential” list: its Chief Executive Officer and founder, Wendy Kopp, and former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor and StudentsFirst founder Michelle Rhee. Others have gained prominence as the leaders of massive charter operations, like KIPP Schools and New Schools for New Orleans. And TFA alums are currently the heads of public schools in Newark, D.C., and Tennessee.

What about the other 27,000-some-odd people? That’s where Leadership for Educational Equity, or LEE, comes in. LEE was founded in 2007 as a 501(c)4 spin-off of Teach for America to provide resources, training, and networking for alumni who are interested in elected office or other extracurricular leadership positions. Its goals are ambitious: by 2015, as its standard job posting reads, it hopes to have 250 of its members in elected office, 300 in policy or advocacy leadership roles, and 1,000 “in ‘active’ pipelines for public leadership.” If all goes as planned, LEE could shift control over American education reform to a specific group of spritely college grads-turned-politicians with a very specific politics.
http://prospect.org/article/teach-america’s-deep-bench

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:56 AM

4. Sad K&R.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:00 AM

5. What a scam eh?

Get a charity to buy the government for you....and put some big bucks in the pockets of your friends at the same time...and soon you can own education...

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:03 AM

6. knr

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