Soo… anyone with opinions on the benefit (or total lack there of) of Teach For America should listen to this Tell me More episode interviewing Gary Rubenstein, TFA alum-turned critic, whose main argument is most TFA corps members only teach for a few years. Since it takes at least a year to get good, both the students and the teaching profession as a whole suffer (veterans get replaced by newbs with no training, which deprofessionalizes the whole profession).
BUT Michelle Martin aptly points out that Mr. Rubenstein (unbeknownst to most followers of his blog) no longer teaches in a low income school. No, he ditched that world a while back for a selective school in NYC. Why?
“”Its partly because I don’t think I have the energy right now to do it you know with my family and all that…” GR
The somehow undiscovered point underlying the tension between his pontifications and his practices is that for teachers, unfortunately, achieving dramatic results in low income areas all but precludes any semblance of a life outside your career. TFA doesn’t rest on college grads being better than trained professionals. It rests on them being capable of committing the absolutely unreasonable amount of time necessary to achieve results. Weirdly, that’s enough.