Even after I “Zoomed out” at the end of our Friday conversation this morning, I couldn’t get Teach For America out of my head. I honestly had not thought about TFA in quite some time. I started searching for articles about why TFA failed. No shortage of content on that topic, including this Washington Post article written by a TFA alum: https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/10/20/teach-for-americas-biggest-problem-isnt-green-teachers-or-failing-schools-its-that-it-cant-take-criticism/
There is one thing attractive to me in the TFA model which the article specifically points to ... success in developing leaders in education. Not coincidentally I’ve regularly heard in our Friday conversations a reference back to or a focus on teacher leaders. This seems like a key piece of the changing the system conversation.
The tension created by need for space for innovation and the need for some (okay overboard) standardization seems to be at the heart of TFA’s troubles. Putting aside all the TFA problems, they did start a national conversation and were trying to make a dent in some of the systemic ed problems out there.