I should hope we all care about student outcomes.

But less combatively, Teach For America does a genuine service by getting engaged, well-educated, hard-working and dedicated teachers into classrooms, especially those with high needs. One significant problem, that you've highlighted here and in other articles, is keeping them there.

TFA is actually in a tricky position, because yes, there is a need for better leadership, except the fact that we have too much ‘leadership’ already. In most states, only half the total spending per student goes towards the classroom, and while admin costs have increased by 50% or more in most districts over the last 2 decades, teacher numbers, and costs, have remained roughly the same. Staying in the classroom, year after year, building neighborhoods and communities one classroom at a time, is the primary need. We don’t really need highly paid teams of leaders and consultants and curriculum directors and, lord help us all, ‘coaches’ micromanaging teachers as if teachers themselves are students. We need teachers like you to stay in the classroom.

But most of those well-educated, hard-working, dedicated teachers attracted to TFA are also incredibly ambitious, and ambition gets you nowhere in the classroom, only out of it. It’s a difficult balance, to be sure, and we can hope that eventually all those ambitious young leaders start advocating for teachers rather than their own increasing authority.

Anyway, apologies if I come across hostile. I’m just not so certain all arguments about TFA are in bad faith.

just another frustrated teacher

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