Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Teach For America alumna responds to Ravitch

Ayanna Taylor, TFA '94, with some good comments in response to Ravitch:


I typically ignore Diane Ravitch's comments, but she is really getting on my nerves.  Does she disparage Peace Corps volunteers in the same way?  My question is whether any research has been done on the impact a TFA teacher has had on students' lives.  I would bet that there are thousands of students who could say, "If it weren't for [insert name of TFA teacher], I wouldn't…"  About 50% of my Facebook friends could.  Isn't that what we are trying to do too?  There are teachers who spend 30 years in school and have no impact on students year after year.  I worked with them and had to teach their students when they promoted them!  I'd like the study that finds people like a former student who texted me yesterday to tell me she applied to TFA and made it to the phone interview round.  She told me she wrote her essay about me and Julie Jackson.  We weren't even her classroom teachers, but we clearly impacted her life.  I don't think TFA has enough of a propaganda machine!  Instead of the data in teacher effectiveness, let's collect some qualitative data from the lives of the students we transformed whether after 2 years or 20.

 Subscribe in a reader