UPDATE: Teach for America gets political, in tune with contributors like the Waltons | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

UPDATE: Teach for America gets political, in tune with contributors like the Waltons

Posted By on Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 6:24 AM

The Los Angeles Times reports on the entry of Teach for America into the politics of education on the side of its benefactors. Such as the Walton family of Arkansas.

The program has sent brainy college students into impoverished school districts and has been widely praised.

But some former participants and academics, among others, have recently accused the Peace Corps-like organization of taking sides in the education policy wars. They criticize the nonprofit for aligning too closely with its largest private donors and high-profile alumni who have gone into politics. They say the group has diverged too far from a core mission: addressing a teacher shortage with top college grads primed to inject energy and success into low-income, urban campuses.

The key backers of Teach for America include foundations that support efforts to expand charter schools, limit teacher job protections, weaken union clout and evaluate instructors by using student test scores.

The Walton Family Foundation, for example, last week donated $20 million that will help fund about 500 hires in Los Angeles. Funded by the family that began Walmart, the foundation supports both charter schools and government vouchers to subsidize private school tuition for low-income families.

UPDATE: This beats all. Rampant conflict of interest in Louisiana involving Teach for America. Word games and an ethics agency unworthy of the name are at play.

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