"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Roberto Perez: Praise for Teach for America slights lifelong dedicated teachers

Roberto Perez: Praise for Teach for America slights lifelong dedicated teachers

Tuesday, March 1, 2011; Washington Post, letters

In his Feb. 27 column, "The small miracles of Teach for America," George F. Will writes: "Until recently - until, among other things TFA [Teach for America] - it seemed that we simply did not know how to teach children handicapped by poverty and its accompaniments - family disintegration and destructive community cultures. Now we know exactly what to do."

I entered the teaching profession in January 1972. As a sixth-grade teacher and later as a successful principal for 15 consecutive years in three different states, including Texas, Maryland and Massachusetts, I resent (once again), someone oblivious to what truly works in meeting the needs of impoverished school children. This commentary demonizes me and other educators who have struggled with children from these environments and who have left no stone unturned in attempting to eradicate these serious deficits that impoverished children bring to school.

Mr. Will claims one of three TFA teachers leave the profession. This statistic is hardly different than the millions of regular teachers who enter my profession year in and year out and also give up. There is no miracle here.

Roberto Perez, Mount Airy

My comment, posted on the Washington Post website:

Paul Thomas has summarized the research on the effectiveness of Teach for America. Please have a look, George Will: http://palmettoeducatorsnetwork.blogspot.com/2011/02/resources-teach-for-america-think-tanks.html

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