TFA slips anti-teacher message into heart warming video

Teach For America carefully controls its online presence.  I follow them on twitter and often needle them when they post something over-the-top ‘reform minded.’

I’ve noticed, recently, that they have been trying to appear more neutral on issues of ed reform.  They even posted something a Corps Member wrote thanking her veteran mentor teacher.

I’d say that percentage-wise, they’ve gone from having 100% of their tweets in the corporate reform camp to about 80%, which is a step in the right direction.

In the spirit of how teaching is not just about numbers and data, but about relationships, TFA posted a link to a video called ‘Dear Students (A Letter from Your Teacher)’  This is a high production value TFA made video which has generally a nice message to it.  But TFA cannot resist including something negative about the status quo.

Around the 1:20 mark, the teacher asks “Will you continue to advocate for the kind of opportunities you deserve?  Have I convinced you to settle for nothing less?”

What does this mean?  To me, this is a variation on the TFA narrative that schools generally have low expectations which is causing the achievement gap.  The status quo is about settling for less while TFA and TFA teachers raise expectations to give kids the education they deserve, but are deprived by the current education system.  I’m not sure if this was a calculated choice they made, but considering how controlling they are of things like this, I think that it was.

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3 Responses to TFA slips anti-teacher message into heart warming video

  1. Pingback: Educational Policy Information

  2. Michael Fiorillo says:

    It was recently reported that a computer program was able to pass the “Turing test,” – considered a pre-condition of artificial intelligence – whereby it was able to convince a third of the people who communicated with it that it was an actual human (in this case, that it was a 13 year-old Ukrainian boy).

    The MIT Technology review also recently reported on the creation of socialbots, which were able to develop followings on Twitter, and even influence discussions of the groups they infiltrated.

    But who could have predicted that technology would advance so quickly that “anti-socialbots” would so soon be able to produce films that make TFA- bots closely resemble humans?

    Very impressive.

  3. Veronica says:

    I completely disagree. As teachers, we do need to teach our students to advocate for themselves. I think this is true no matter how good a school is, whether or not you teach minority students, and for students of all ages to learn. Advocating for myself, both in and outside of the school setting, was certainly an important skill that I was taught. For minority students, I think this becomes even more important, because they are so often discriminated against in a very systematic way!

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