Teach4America is not the Enemy.
Teach for America is not the enemy; bad schools are! Why is it so taboo to say we have a failing school system nationwide? Especially for Black and Latinx students.
It’s as if we are always looking for a scapegoat instead of admitting and fixing the real problems in education.
PoC Are Not Receiving a Quality K-12 Education.
Problem One: PoC are not receiving a quality education compared to their white peers. I saw a chart yesterday that showed homeless white kids outscoring their minority subgroups. It was so alarming that I had to ask follow-up questions because I could not believe the validity of the chart (see chart below).
Even though its painstakingly obvious what the problem is, rather than address the real issue, let’s say for kicks and giggles we blame Teach for America. Or if not TFA, let’s blame Ed Reform. If that doesn’t work, hell let’s blame the parents. Black and Latinx parents do not care about their kids.
That has to be the solution. Or, if all else fails, we can blame charter schools. That seems to work as well. We have to stop thwarting the blame for why our K-12 school system does not work. By playing the blame game kids are continuing to fail. We have to play a new game in order to create a new narrative for Black and Latinx students. Let’s call the new game “solutions.” So when you have pundit conversations about K-12 failures, be bold, and ask for solutions. That’s how we’ll shift this paradigm for the poor folks that need solutions the most.
Lack of Black and Latinx Teachers in K-12.
Problem Two: There is a scarcity of Black and Latinx male teachers in public education. They make up less than 2% of teachers nationwide. How is this a problem? Research supports the assertion that students learn better from educators that look like them. Moreover, teacher staff that mimics the population of the school will have a better grasp on classroom management and parent engagement. Both are unmeasurable intangibles that could be the catalyst for change in schools.
That does not mean that students can’t learn from others. Do not play on words or pontificate. Students can learn under the most adverse conditions. For example, in Minnesota, homeless white students outscore Black and Latinx students by a healthy margin.
Does that mean whites are superior to their Black and Latinx peers or does that mean K-12 education could care less about Black and Latinx students? I’ll let you decide.
Problem Three: We live in an era of scapegoating. No matter what the situation, there is always someone else to blame for one’s shortcomings. If education is terrible for your region, let’s blame charter schools. If that doesn’t work, let’s blame TFA.
I would like for those that are in reform to stop being the punching bag for pundits that need someone to blame.
Ed Reform is Losing.
We are losing the race right now, not because charter schools don’t work, but because we are being outworked by those that are anti-reform.
TFA adds Diversity to the teaching field. They can be apart of the solution. Let’s engage them to see how we can make things better for the 8 million children fighting for a quality education.