Last week we ran a piece by a local father and Education professor with five children in the Huntsville City School system. That article explained a few of the key points made by those in the community opposed to HCS contracting with Teach for America (TFA), a program that will over the next four years bring in a as many as 170 new members/teachers to serve those HCS schools with the highest poverty levels (70%+).
Because we are committed to showing “both sides” of a subject upon which reasonable people can disagree, we offered to run any responses we received from those that disagreed with Dr. O’Brien’s stance. School board member Dr. Jennie Robinson reached out to us and offered up suggestions for people we should speak with including Dr. Wardynski. As of the publication of this article, we are in the process of setting up an interview with Dr. Wardynski and intend to run that response next week.
In the meantime, we have been reading more than any one person ever wanted to know about TFA, and we thought it made sense to share that information with readers so they could form their own conclusions. Below you will find a list of articles and websites that should provide a balanced view of the program, its successes, and its failures. If you see something we missed, please feel free to leave a link in the comment section below.
www.teachforus.org- a site composed of blogs by current TFA members and alumni.
The following articles and websites were provided to me by Dr. Robinson and were used by the board in making its decision to approve Wardynski’s proposal to bring TFA to HCS.
- Article on Urban.org
- UNC Department of Public Policy article
- 2010 Report from TN Higher Education Committee
- Harvard Study Comparing Teacher Characteristics and Student Achievement
- LSU Study Examining TFA Teacher’s Contribution to Student Achievement
- Study Examining the Role of Teaching Assignments in TFA Retention
- Teach for American 2009 National Principal Survey
Below are articles referenced in both local and national blogs, newspapers, and magazines that are at least partially critical of the TFA program.