I found this answer to be disappointing; and I think my disappointment has to do with my very conflicted feelings about TFA. For years, I have felt that TFA does a dis-service to students in inner-city public schools. Sending very ill-prepared, just-out-of-college, mainly white students into extremely tough schools spells a recipe for disaster; and a recipe for students having their education stalled with a teacher who barely knows the craft of teaching.
But my recent experience with TFA, and this article, makes me wonder more if I should be re-thinking my stance. While I still believe TFA does not provide enough training from the on-set, TFA does have a very high retention rate of teachers in Baltimore after the first year (85%) and currently has over 150 teachers in Baltimore City right now, all of whom are rated effective or ineffective. On top of this, the corps is becoming decidedly less white; over 50% of TFA Baltimore members are people of color. Last year, I attended the TFA annual summit through my organization, and learned that over 60% of TFA alum stay in education. This made me think about all of the administrators and teachers I am surrounded by that are TFA alum. Some taught for many years, and some taught for few and then quickly moved into other roles within education; but all are people who I believe are absolute change agents in education.
Currently, more than 560 alumni work within the City Schools district. Perhaps I have been too harsh on TFA over the years; I would still like to know more about what they plan to do with this new money to support students directly, but I will keep the faith that they are going to do what is best for kids.