OUCH ! In your face Teach for America !

Why Teach For America Is Not Welcome in My ClassroomBy Mark Naison

Every spring, without fail, a Teach for America recruiter approaches me and asks if they can come to my classes and recruit students for TFA, and every year, without fail, I give them the same answer.


Until Teach for America becomes committed to training lifetime educators and raises the length of service to five years rather than two, I will not allow TFA to recruit in my classes.  The idea of sending talented students into schools in impoverished areas, and then after two years encouraging them to pursue careers in finance, law, and business in the hope that they will then advocate for educational equity really rubs me the wrong way.

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Mark Naison is a Professor of African American Studies and History at Fordham University and Director of Fordham’s Urban Studies Program. He is the author of three books and over 100 articles on African American History, urban history, and the history of sports. His most recent book, White Boy: A Memoir, was published in the spring of 2002



One response to “OUCH ! In your face Teach for America !

  1. Joanne Christian

    Interesting…..”Recruiting for TFA”….hmmmm, kinda blows that romantic notion of a business, or engineering, or some other non-track education major maybe growing a conscience, or exploring a potential career in education, even though that degree in medieval linguistics was going to take them real far. :).
    Ah–isn’t TFA supposed to be a sorting process for the newly minted to ease their social justice guilt on the way to Wall St. by way of picking up a graduate degree and full check on the program’s dime? Don’t ever try to sell me it’s “like the Peace Corps” for teachers. Peace Corp gets malaria and dengue fever. TFA gets grad school, and public praise for teaching unteachables, and every other ilk a regular teacher has to do everyday. A few may find their niche with this, and that’s great–but recruiting? Shouldn’t it be more of soul searching?

    An awareness of a program out there is one thing–but recruiting? Seriously?