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View Diary: Shame On JC Penney (81 comments)

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  •  As do most of the regularly credentialed (5+ / 0-)

    teachers, and the senior teachers who were laid off to make room for TFA staff.

    The kids who sign up for TFA are good people. It's the organization that's misguided at best and corrupt at worst.

    The other problem is the wasted investment a school makes in a teacher who leaves after just a few years. Sadly, I’m a poster child for this. I remember my last day at my school in Colorado, as I made the rounds saying goodbye to veteran teachers, my friends and colleagues who had provided me such crucial support and mentorship. As I talked of my plans for law school in Chicago, and they bade me best wishes, I felt an overwhelming wave of guilt. Their time and energy spent making me a better teacher – and I was massively better on that day compared to my first – was for naught. The previous summer I had spent a week of training, paid for by my school, to learn to teach pre–Advanced Placement classes. I taught the class for a year; presumably, I thought, someone else would have to receive the same training – or, worse, someone else would not receive the same training. All that work on classroom management and understanding of the curriculum, all the support in connecting with students and writing lesson – it would all have to begin again with a new teacher.
    TFA is now massive, with annual expenses (pdf) at $220 million in fiscal year 2011. According to the charity site Give Well, TFA’s budget 2009 budget came to a stunning $38,046 spent per corps member who started teaching; this was a more than twofold increase from 2005. (Corps member spending by TFA does not include corps members’ salaries, which are paid for by their respective school district. School districts also pay TFA a fee for each corps member hired.) Admittedly, a per-corps-member measurement is imperfect because it accounts for recruiting a new and ever-larger corps, as well as a ballooning alumni base. The question remains: if you have money to donate to education causes, is TFA your best investment?

    Consider some of the main items in TFA’s budget (pdf): recruiting and selecting corps members (18%), management and general (9%), alumni support (8%). None of these makes corps members effective teachers. “Corps member development” (39%) and institute training (17%), on the other hand, purportedly do. Reality, as is its wont, is not so simple.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 08:46:57 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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