The open line: Plus, death of a football star and a dissenting opinion on Teach for America | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The open line: Plus, death of a football star and a dissenting opinion on Teach for America

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 4:45 PM


Here's the open line and today's video. Plus:

* NORTH LITTLE ROCK'S TENPENNY DIES IN WRECK: The sports world has buzzed today about the death of Altee Tenpenny, a 2013 graduate of North Little Rock High and a standout football player, in a one-car crash Tuesday in Mississippi. He played for a time at Alabama and had been suspended Sunday from the Nicholls State football team in Louisiana following arrest for discharging a firearm. Said the School District:

The North Little Rock School District is deeply saddened by the passing of Altee Tenpenny. The death of any young person, especially one with such talent and ambition, is tragic. A 2013 graduate of North Little Rock High School, Altee was a standout football player and human being. His beautiful smile and charismatic personality will be sorely missed. 

* HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE FOR TEACH FOR AMERICA: Many in the Billionaire Boys Club known as the school reform movement think Teach for America is the answer for lagging schools. Oust veteran teachers, some with union contracts! What do they know? Instead, recruiit brainy, idealistics young Ivy Leaguers who'll burn themselves to a frazzle inspiring the downtrodden before they wear out. Not to worry. There's fresh meat where they came from.

Nothing is ever pure black and white. And what you don't hear, thanks to the billionaires' press capability, is some of the down side on Teach for America. Clip and save this op-ed by a former Teach for America  participant when the cheerleaders ride into Little Rock. Writes T. Jameson Brewer, a doctoral candidate in Illinois:

Not only is TFA notoriously unwilling to listen to outside or internal critics (one former TFA manager decried its “inability and unwillingness to honestly address valid criticism” in The Washington Post). The organization has also spent millions of dollars on a press shop built to promote its brand while aggressively and proactively discrediting critiques.

This is bad for the organization, and it’s bad for students. TFA has real problems — its teachers are largely unprepared and fare no better than regular educators. It has a high drop-out rate, and the number of applicants has plummeted. Additionally, TFA sends its volunteer teachers to school districts in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, places now facing teacher layoffs and hiring freezes. Some school districts have even rescinded contracts with TFA, citing teachers’ lack of preparation and low retention rates.

Alum Catherine Michna, now a professor of education at Tulane, has said that she won’t write recommendation letters for students who want to join the program. “TFA members do not work in service of public education,” she wrote in Slate. “They work in service of a corporate reform agenda that rids communities of veteran teachers, privatizes public schools, and forces a corporatized, data-driven culture upon unique low-income communities with unique dynamics and unique challenges.”

TFA has the resources and the clout to address these concerns. Instead, it has chosen to ignore its dissenters. The organization is stuck, and it shows few signs of evolution.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (32)

Showing 1-32 of 32

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-32 of 32

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Turkeys rescued in Yellville enjoy their Thanksgiving

    Farm Sanctuary, an animal protection organization, sends word that four turkeys rescued from the Yellville Turkey Trot after the annual drops from buildings and an airplane will enjoy Thanksgiving in friendlier places
    • Nov 23, 2017
  • The New Orleans charter school 'miracle'? It's a ruse

    The New Orleans Tribune has a devastating piece of editorial commentary, based on local reporting and test scores, that lays bare the depiction of the charterization of New Orleans public schools 12 years ago as a miracle of the "reform" movement.
    • Nov 23, 2017
  • More criticism of UA proposal to change tenure policy

    Reason is among the latest to offer critical commentary of a proposal from University of Arkansas System lawyers to change the tenure policy so that a lack of collegiality could be used as a justification for firing a tenured professor.
    • Nov 23, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • Baseball fans have a new place to stay

    If you missed out on Razorback baseball home games this year because you couldn’t find a great place to stay, your problem is now solved: Staybridge Suites of Fayetteville is now fully renovated and located directly across from Baum Stadium, with free parking for hotel guests.
    • May 22, 2017
  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation