A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both. – Milton Friedman
I feel that have gotten off on the wrong foot. Let’s examine the substance of your post.
First of all, you probably didn’t read the article from City Journal, which is fine. I understand that people are busy.
The first person to introduce personal narrative was David Gergen himself. My reaction to him was to post something from someone who had actually worked as a Teach For America teacher. The Left has this obsession with “authenticity” so I figured I should have an authentic answer.
Here’s another personal view of Teach for America from reason magazine’s letter to the editor in January 2004.
Denial of Service
Julian Sanchez's characterization of AmeriCorps ("Denial of Service," October) rang true. As a member of AmeriCorps' Teach for America program, I received a $40,000 per year living stipend in addition to the $4,000 in tuition reimbursement. That's hardly volunteer work; it's a good job with nice benefits for someone just out of college.
Also, TFA is a radically left-wing organization that promotes "progressive education" and other liberal causes. One of the exercises required that we get in a circle and talk about our "privileges." Members regularly proclaimed that we need to revolt against the racist, imperialist, patriarchal capitalist system. In fact, this was a part of our mission as teachers.
I resigned after my first year.
Name withheld by request
My issues with Teach for America are as follows:
- · It takes advantage of idealistic and smart children who have little incentive to stay in teaching due to the union stranglehold and accreditation racket.
- · Those children end up leaving because the system hurts those teachers and their freedom.
- · If the program is successful, it has to only with the teachers that join it.
Teach for America is a band-aid solution that pours money into a failing system. The way to reform education is as follows:
- · Allow children to pick schools through the use of vouchers
- · Ban unionizing for public sector employees—like teachers.
It has also helped, on all campuses, that Teach for America now has a track record: An evaluation last year by Mathematica Policy Research found that Teach for America members produce slightly higher math achievement and no worse English results, than other teachers. And a June 2005 evaluation by Kane Parsons & Associates found that 63 percent of the principals in the schools where they work regarded Teach for America teachers as more effective than the overall faculty.
However, a study of Houston student achievement released this year by Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford and others found that although Teach for America teachers performed as well as other uncertified teachers, their results did not match those of certified teachers. Teach for America officials contend that the study was flawed.
So we’re pouring thousands of dollars into a program that isn’t that effective.As for the racial element, the reason so many of these schools are failing is because the poor have been denied the opportunity to get their children out.
As many of the people in this country who happen to be poor, happen to be minorities (although certainly not all). Thus, the net effect of government monopoly in education harms minorities.
Do you think we can overcome America’s problem by making special programs which increase racial divides? Do you want racial and ethnic equality, or equality of result?
I agree with equal opportunity, not equal results. I believe what Friedman says.
I am proudly color-blind because the solutions to America’s problems have nothing to do with color.