Yo Teach…! Or how to avoid teaching like Jason

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

In today’s NYT op-ed, David Brooks responds to growing literature by Charles Murray and Robert Putnam that the divergence in opportunities for high and low income students is stark and growing. In his usual attempt to straddle the political divide, Brooks writes: “Liberals are going to have to be willing to champion norms that say…

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When I joined the 2011 corps I was slated to be a high school social studies teacher. At institute I was trained as such. However, once I arrived in Detroit, it turned out there were fifteen high school social studies and ELA teachers competing for many fewer jobs. By mid-September ten of us were still…

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Jun 25 2012

Future of Education School?

Just read a very interesting article about a new educational grad school called Relay School of Education that was started by many founders of the most successful charter schools (KIPP, Uncommon). It offers a two year masters degree program meant to help teachers succeed in their classrooms that very year. Interestingly, success in the program (and…

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Gary Rubenstein points out that the attrition rate has not declined over the past twenty years, and uses this fact to conclude that institute has not really improved over time. I think framing our discussion of institute in this way misses some of the bigger goals and weaknesses of TFA.   As many CMA’s pointed…

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I think a very important question skeptics of TFA recent reform efforts need to grapple with is whether teacher turnover is inevitable in low-income schools that produce dramatic results. Many of the most successful charter school chains (KIPP, Uncommon) assume that most teachers will not stay for longer than five years due to natural burnout.…

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Jun 18 2012

The “Corporate Reform” Movement

When skimming through blog posts, I have a nifty trick for quickly deciding whether a something is going to be worth reading. I check whether it uses the phrase “corporate reform” in the first paragraph. If so, I move on. The terms “corporate reform” or “corporate reformers” usually refer to anything or anyone who is…

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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…

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Sep 20 2011

Euphemisms and mistaken optimism

In this blog, I will often play the part of the choice/competition “skeptic” mainly because I find that skeptics to a weaker job of making their arguments. I will come back to why I believe this, but I wanted to use this space to point out one grossly incorrect conclusion from an article in The…

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Pontifications of the Unplaced


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