For readers of the blog who work in or are generally interested in education, you've undoubtedly heard of Teach for America (TFA). In fact, TFA is the organization that prepared me for the teaching profession (as in, I transitioned from finance into teaching via TFA).
My experience with TFA was generally positive. I also generally believe in TFA's mission: I believe young, talented individuals should give back (in terms of time and knowledge) to communities in need. I probably also had a good experience with TFA because I joined the organization to become a long-term educator, rather than simply use TFA as a step-ladder into business school, law school, etc. Most of my peers who went through the training process with me were not thinking about staying longer than the two-year TFA commitment.
Two friends of mine (thanks Janelle and Jaimie!) recently sent me two different, yet very interesting and honest critiques of TFA:
The first article, "Teach for America: The Hidden Curriculum of Liberal Do-Gooders" is written by Andrew Hartman, a history professor at Illinois State University. He also is the author of Education and the Cold War: The Battle for the American School. If you're going to read only one of the two critiques, I would highly suggest you read this one - it is bold, comprehensive, and makes a lot of great points.
The second article, "Why Teach for America is Not Welcome in My Classroom" is written by Mark Naison, a Professor of African American Studies and History at Fordham University and Director of Fordham’s Urban Studies Program.
If anyone would like to post their thoughts, feel free to in the comments section.