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

Monday, December 02, 2013

Why I Won't Be Buying a New Subaru to Benefit TFA

A letter I sent to a very nice salesman at the Memphis Subaru dealership this morning:

To: davidellison@jimkerassubarusoa.dealer.com

Dear David,

I saw a friend the other night who bought a new Subaru from you earlier this Fall, and I was admiring his car.  With one of my cars on the verge of needing a new timing belt, I was planning to visit your place just after the Christmas rush to take advantage, perhaps, of any kind of year-end deals.  

All that changed, however, when I saw the Subaru ad yesterday that listed the miseducative outfit, Teach for America, as a recipient of your corporate giving program. Because TFA is one of the most destructive corporate education reform initiatives yet established to further limit access of urban children to the possibility of mature caring teachers, I wanted to let you know that I won't be visiting your showroom. You see, I am an educator who believes that untrained corporate temps are not the solution to the problems facing poor urban and rural public schools.

Just as I do not buy my groceries or incidentals at Walmart because of their TFA sponsorship, and just as I do not send my goods via FedEx because of their TFA support, I will not be test driving or buying a new Subaru--even though I like your product line very much.  

If your company wants to do something for education and children, Subaru might consider offering teacher education scholarships for the best, brightest, and poorest minority students to become professional teachers, ones with some real understanding of the challenges of being poor, rather than the cultivated misunderstanding of white post-adolescent missionaries coached to believe that their privileged guilt naturally carries with it some superior capacity to cure cancer with aspirin.  

Or better yet--your company may consider relocating some of your Subaru production to areas of America where large swaths of our population are contained by joblessness, racism, and a loss of hope.  Now that would be some real teaching for America that could yield benefits beyond what we mere educators could ever accomplish.

Jim Horn


  1. Send Jim's fine letter to corporate Subaru

  2. Articulate and "spot on"! Thank you!

  3. You should boycott The Gap and J. Crew; they support TFA as well. Good for you.

  4. Anonymous7:12 PM

    Jim, you can select from 5 other charities that will benefit from your purchase of the safest, most reliable, AWD vehicle on the road today. These charities include ASPCA, Make A Wish, Meals on Wheels, National Park Foundation, and a local beneficiary selected by each dealership.

    Good Luck

  5. Good try, but it is not about which charity I wish to benefit but, rather, about the corporate miseducation that Subaru is supporting with your million dollar ads for new Subarus with TFA bumper stickers. That is worth more to TFA than any pathetic percentage they might get from someone buying a new car. Stop supporting the demolition of the teaching profession, and the boycott will end.