Sunday, March 20, 2016

How Teach for America Is Covertly Privatizing Public Education

T. Jameson Brewer, co-editor of Teach For America Counter-Narrative: Alumni Speak Up and Speak Out, discusses his journey from TFA corp member to outspoken critic.

By Sharmini Peries / The Real News Network

DeRay Mckesson might be a late entry into the Baltimore mayor's race, but his candidacy has brought both national attention and controversy to a field already crowded with nearly a dozen Democrats alone. A Black Lives Matter protester who gained fame and a massive social media following by walking away from a six-figure salary in 2014 to join the Ferguson uprising, Mckesson recently released a 26-page platform which outlined support for a $15 minimum wage, education development, youth development, and reforming the beleaguered Baltimore Police Department. At least on the surface, this sounds progressive. But critics say his involvement with Teach For America hints at another agenda. TFA is a hedge fund-backed nonprofit that gives top college graduates five weeks of training and places them in disinvested public schools around the country. TFA is known for rallying around its alumni, but there are others who paint a different picture. Among those is our next guest, T. Jameson Brewer. He's a Ph.D. candidate of educational policy studies and O'Leary fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He's also the co-editor of Teach For America Counter-Narratives: Alumni Speak Up and Speak Out, published last year.

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