Thursday, December 27, 2007

But How Does It Work?

McIlheran had a piece in the Journal Sentinel about Teach For America. He gives an anecdotal story about how Teach for America inspired a woman to teach poor children in New York, and now wants to come here to teach poor children in Milwaukee. He goes on and on and on about how wonderful this company is.

But what he doesn't tell you is how they do what they do that makes them so allegedly wonderful. Even a precursory scan of the agency's website does not reveal their secret to success. The closest I can figure it out, is that TFA does high pressure recruitment on some recent college graduates, gets them to commit for two years to teaching these at-risk kids, and burns them out. Then they replace them with fresh recruits. If it was a religion, it could be considered a cult.

No wonder McIlheran didn't want to say how it works. It might put another damper on his bid to privatize the world.


  1. Funny, but the "growing school reform movement" is sort of like the "growing excitement over Mitt Romney." It's a figment of an activist's imagination. The kind of school reform that McIlheran/Sykes support has died on the rocks. Not only does the research show privatization to be ineffective, but anecdotes are showing it to be corrupt. The "movement" as they define it crested a long time ago. Milwaukee has an unusual constituency for it, but even that's fallen away. That neocon con job on public education is dead. Not even McIlheran's otter-faced squinching can change that.

  2. maybe we should increase taxes, and lower the standards

  3. No, we don't want privatization, which is what causes the increased taxes and lower standards. Don't you pay attention?