Events: Five Ideas For TFA's *Next* 20 Years
Here are five completely unsolicited ideas for TFA's next 20 years, on the occasion of its first: (1) Tell locals to pick one or several struggling schools, stuff them with corps members and alumns over the course of two or three years, and show everyone what you can really do at the the whole school level. Rinse, lather, repeat. (2) Stop expanding to new cities and do more in the cities you're already in. Create two or three "superlocals" to get involved in reform, short of operating schools but well beyond the current menu of training, placement, and support. (3) Get off the charter school pipe. Charter placements shouldn't exceed the percentage of kids being taught at charter schools in any given district. (4) Add a preservice residency year. It's the right thing to do, everybody else (BTR, AUSL, etc.) is doing it, you've got the money, and you can obviously afford to lose a few applicants without suffering too much. (5) Take a stand against districts (or newspapers) publishing individual teachers' value-added scores, which should be used instead for evaluation, training, and support. Wendy said she was against it in a recent interview but -- on this and so many other issues outside TFA operations -- hasn't taken a real leadership role on the issue. Now's the time. There's only so much money, brand appeal, press, and political capital you can amass before you have to start making full use of it. Push yourselves to make as much change as you push individual corps members.