by Lauren Ingeno, 7/2/2013
If a university enrolls and charges students to study in degree programs to become teachers or learn about education, is it odd for the same institution to partner with an organization that helps people avoid just that kind of education? That’s the question being posed by graduate students from the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development.
by Rick Cohen, 7/8/13
The latest stumbling block for TFA in Minnesota has come in the form of a petition launched by students at the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development in opposition to the possibility of a deal with TFA. Their letter charged that the “[proposed] partnership [between the University of Minnesota and TFA] offers unearned legitimacy to a significantly flawed and powerful force in education, one which sends underprepared teachers into communities of students already often marginalized by the education system.” Referring to numerous studies questioning TFA’s educational outcomes and the low retention rate for TFA teachers in educational systems, the letter acidly charged, “With the lack of evidence that TFA actually improves the lives or learning environments of students most vulnerable to exploitation (e.g., urban children/youth of color/poverty), we can only guess that this partnership is primarily one of business.”
After quoting our statement at length, Ravitch ended with, “Read it.”
Earlier this week, a group of educators in MN who opposed Teach for America’s (TFA) efforts to partner with the U of MN posted a letter summarizing their critiques of the program. They, and many others, represent a burgeoning resistance movement to TFA that is comprised of community members, educators, and former TFA members all united against TFA’s brand of “education reform”. In fact, July 11-14th there will be an education summit in Chicago that will include a session titled “Organizing Resistance to Teach for America and its Role in Privatization”.
About 180 [now 280] students, alumni and teachers have signed a petition explaining why they don’t want the University of Minnesota to engage in a proposed partnership with Teach For America.
by Michaela Gianotti, 7/3/13
Things can get a little awkward for students paying for a degree in education when their university partners with an organization that uses a five-week training program to pump out teachers. Teach for America, a group that places recent grads in low-income schools to teach for two years, should have thought twice before seeking a partnership with the University of Minnesota. In a less-than-polite statement, 10 students in Minnesota’s teaching program accused the organization of sending “underprepared teachers into communities of students already often marginalized by the education system.” The group argued that teachers should have long term investments in their communities. According to Erin Dyke, a Ph.D. candidate who helped write the statement, the majority of TFA corps members leave their schools after two years.
by Roy Aker, 7/3/13
Ten University of Minnesota graduate students in the College of Education and Human Development wrote an open letter to the campus community last week opposing the proposed partnership between CEHD and Teach for America.
The letter, which was posted on a WordPress site June 25, had reached nearly 200 signatures by Tuesday evening.
Grad students oppose potential University of Minnesota and Teach for America partnership – TC Daily Planet
by Sarah Lahm, 6/29/2013
By June 30, more than 150 students, teachers, and alumni from the University, the Twin Cities, and national education circles have signed the No TFA at the U statement (below). The full page statement ends by calling on the University to overlook any “short-term” financial gains a partnership with TFA could bring, and instead asks the University to say no to what the group calls the “opportunistic, trendy, and short-sighted education ‘reform’” efforts of TFA.