Kamala's plan to raise the pay of teachers is wise and much needed. The plan pledges to provide teachers with an average raise of $13,500 and will cost $315 billion over 10 years.
Mother Jones published this piece- examining the ways the teaching profession was made poorer during the 00's due to a plethora of factors, such as the influence of The TFA, charter schools, high stakes testing and the school turnaround initiative which never lived up to expectations. The common denominator in these failures was the marginalization of experienced educators and unionized teachers , factors which impacted experienced black educators the most.
The book "Ignoring Poverty in the U.S.: The Corporate Takeover of Public Education" covers these failures, and the criticism of the TFA is worth noting..
"Although Teach for America began twenty years ago as a well-intentioned band aid, it has morphed into what is essentially a jobs program for the privileged, funded by taxpayers and wealthy individuals. TFA was originally designed to serve a specific need: fill positions in high-poverty schools where there are teacher shortages. A non-profit organization that recruits college seniors primarily from elite institutions to teach for two -year stints in high-poverty schools, preceded by five weeks of training. TFA has grown from 500 teachers to more than 8,000 teachers in thirty-nine rural and urban areas. As TFA is expanding, it is no longer just filling positions in shortage areas, rather it has replaced experienced and traditionally educated teachers. To justify this encroachment, TFA claims that their teachers are more effective than more experienced and qualified teachers, and that training and experience are not factors in effective teaching."
The impact of this on black teachers can't be overstated . Not only do students suffer from teachers with little experience, the marginalization of black teachers ( Usually women) affects the black middle class. If you are a black teacher hoping to utilize your experience and talents to improve children's lives and look forward to a decent retirement,the system is working against you.
From the Mother Jones piece:
"Many of these departures came as part of mass layoffs and closings in schools with low test scores, a policy promoted with federal and state dollars since 2002. In Chicago, 49 out of about 500 schools were closed in 2013, and in Washington, DC, 38 out of 111 schools have been shuttered since 2008. And since 2002, 140 out of roughly 1,800 New York City schools have closed. In each of the nine cities the Albert Shanker Institute studied, a higher percentage of black teachers were laid off or quit than Latino or white educators. Nationwide, according to the federal Department of Education, African Americans made up 6.8 percent of the teaching workforce in the 2011-12 school year, down from 8.3 percent in 1990. (Nearly 83 percent of the teaching workforce in 2011 was white, down slightly from 1990.)
In all, that means 26,000 African American teachers have disappeared from the nations public schoolseven as the overall teaching workforce has increased by 134,000. Countless black principals, coaches, cafeteria workers, nurses, and counselors have also been displacedall in the name of raising achievement among black students. While white Americans are slowly waking up to the issue of police harassment and violence in black communities, many are unaware of the quiet but broad damage the loss of African American educators inflicts on the same communities. The drop rate of teachers is now common place,
I really hope that Kamala's proposal gets more coverage.
We will go further for communities most in need. We will begin to tackle decades of systemic educational inequality by making an additional investment in the nations neediest schools, which disproportionately serve students of color, so that teachers there will be paid more than other comparable professionals in their state. We will help these schools reduce high rates of teacher turnover, attract talented young graduates and experienced educators, and improve teaching and learning conditions for our kids.The plan will also include a multibillion-dollar investment in evidence-based programs that elevate the teaching profession. Half of this funding would be dedicated to historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions, because more than 30 percent of all black teachers, and more than 40 percent of all Hispanic teachers, graduate from those schools.
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