In February 2011, Teach For America (TFA) wrapped up its 20th Anniversary Summit in Washington, D.C. Thousands of TFA teachers, alumni and supporters converged on our nation's capitol to celebrate, reconnect and hear then-CEO and Founder Wendy Kopp's vision for TFA's future. Unfortunately, instead of using that momentous occasion to announce the long overdue evolution of TFA's teacher preparation model, Ms. Kopp and her organization chose to double down. Gambling with and skimping on the educational opportunities of mostly Black and Latino children living in poverty, instead of providing the excellent learning resources our children need and deserve, including well-prepared teachers, is an insult and an injustice.
Currently, TFA systematically assigns brand-new teachers with only five weeks of summer school training to Black and Latino children in low-income communities. In addition, few TFA teachers remain in the classroom beyond TFA’s two-year requirement, depriving our children of experienced educators. These are bold injustices in a perpetually unfair education system that denies our children the critical resources they deserve and need to reach their full potential. The status quo educational inequity that assigns well-prepared teachers to middle class and wealthy White children and inadequately prepared teachers to our children must end.
Thousands of parents, students, TFA alumni, and members and allies of low-income communities of color are starting to demand better preparation for TFA corps members. Please join us in telling Wendy Kopp to reform Teach for America's model so teachers assigned to our communities receive at least a full year of high quality, school-based preparation before they assume responsibility for their own classroom and our children's education!