Tea F A?

Adnan Barqawi was a TFA 2009 corps member who was warmly received at a TFA event in Nashville in July of 2014.

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TFA hired him to be the executive director of TFA Nashville in January of 2015.  He is still listed on the TFA website as a staff member.  He left four months later.

Perhaps the mystery of his sudden disappearance four months after taking the TFA job was the discovery of this YouTube video recorded in July of 2009 during his TFA summer training.  It turns out that Barqawi is a proud member of the Tea Party.

Here is a quote from the video about his feelings about the free lunch program in schools:

“I discovered that, um, I worked so hard earning close to minimum wage so that I can provide for the free lunches and breakfasts of others who don’t necessarily want to work as hard or have just used the system in such a way that to me is not America.”

And here is is on his students who were illegal immigrants:

“The majority of the students I taught were illegal immigrants.  Who’s paying for that?  The taxpayer.  Who’s paying for their breakfasts and lunches?  The taxpayer.  And, you know, when I asked those children, because I was so curious, I never heard of the notion of free breakfasts and free lunches and I’ve lived all around the world.  And they have no idea why they get free lunches and free breakfast.  It’s just an expectation.  It’s almost like “Well, the governments gonna take care of me”, you know, and so it’s so sad no wonder, you know, I thought to myself, that the poor keep getting poorer because there’s no one to show them empowerment and independence and self-reliance rather than depending on a failing welfare system.”

OK, so TFA hired a Tea Partier and fired him four months later.  Didn’t they correct their error?  Well, yes, it was wise to fire him, but I think that the fact that someone with these views could rise so high in the organization is symptomatic of something that has plagued TFA for a while.  Hiring this guy is yet another example of what sloppy decision making this organization continues to make on a daily basis.

Watching this guy speak his opinions, there is no way that he was able to fake his way through an interview saying just the things that he would think that TFA wanted him to hear.  He does not seem capable of keeping these thoughts to himself.  I think this also shows that they are being forced to hire people like this since people who have a clue are now staying far away from the organization.  If you think this guy is scary, think about the five people that he beat out for that job.

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9 Responses to Tea F A?

  1. Michael Fiorillo says:

    By hiring a Tea Partier, TFA reveals it’s essentially reactionary nature, rather than using the language of civil rights to dissemble and deceive naive young people.

    Busting teacher unions, turning teaching into temporary, at-will employment in educational sweat shops, practicing behaviorist social engineering in hyper-segregated charter schools, while emitting an endless stream of self-congratulatory lies, this organization is far more dangerous than the Tea Party.

  2. Pingback: Gary Rubinstein: How Could TFA Hire a Tea Party Member to Lead in Nashville? | Diane Ravitch's blog

  3. Linda Gartzman says:

    It does not seem contradictory in any way. Why did they fire him? Perhaps, the TFA administration felt his speaking his truth would make their PR look bad. It seems he should be entitled to his opinions.

  4. Carbide Scribe says:

    It is also possible that some phone calls were made and this guy is part of an effort to turn TFA toward a tea party agenda. Such things are not unknown after all, and what could be more efficient, you just take over something someone else already built from the ground up and turn it into your mouthpiece. FYI , no fan of TFA at all.

  5. Nashville citizen says:

    There’s actually a little more to this story. Adnan Barqawi ended the TFA Nashville contract with RePublic (no excuses) Charter Schools b/c of abusive treatment of teachers. Since RePublic relies so much on TFA for staffing (no one else in his right mind would work there), and RePublic’s leader, Ravi Gupta, is so connected and powerful in the Nashville charter movement, Mr. Barqawi was canned from TFA for standing up for TFA teachers. After he was removed from his position, the TFA contract with RePublic was reinstated.

  6. Linda says:

    “Sloppy decision making”, doubtful. After reading earlier this year, an article, published in the Miamian, an alumni magazine of Miami University of Ohio, an interview with a woman who identified herself as a former state chair for TFA, I cringed.
    We know TFA’s effect on opportunities for people to rise into the middle class through teaching jobs.
    Drew Franklin in an article titled, “TFA Embedded in Black Lives Matter”, wrote that Black teachers disproportionately lost jobs as a result of the reform movement. (That movement is driven by Wall Street, Silicon Valley and discount retail.) Franklin further wrote that “privatizing schools provides cover for class warfare in general. ”
    If Black Lives Matter is looking to undermine police unions, it serves the oligarchs. The drive to reduce pay and devalue workers in community law enforcement, mirrors the oligarch attack on the teaching profession. We are already seeing the consequence, in law enforcement and teaching, when at $12 an hour or less, the community tries to attract workers, for a complex, highly variable job, requiring professional decision making, attitude and behavior.
    If Black Lives Matter thinks underpaid, de-professionalized law enforcement is going to improve America, like the Tea Party does, they are flat-out wrong. What would the TFA financial backers do, if TFA rank and file and leaders, turned the tables on them and demanded a correction to problems, through better pay to attract higher quality public servants?

  7. Pingback: For TFA is it worse to be a charter critic or a Tea Party member? | Gary Rubinstein's Blog

  8. Pingback: Links 11/21/15 | Mike the Mad Biologist

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