Be careful if you decide to read his op-ed, the hubris flows off it and may create a mess.
Darryl Willie loves Teach for America which takes non education majors and puts them through a five-week boot camp and then into our neediest schools where they are supposed to serve two years, assuring our neediest kids have an ever revolving door of novice teachers, or you know the exact opposite of what they need.
He stops just short of giving Teach for America all the credit for any success the district may have
had over the years, but just short.
Not once does he say words like, in conjunction with, working with, working alongside, and then professional teachers. I imagine if an archaeologist were to find this op-ed and read it, they would think all we had were TFA teachers in our classrooms, when the reality is at their heyday they counted for about 4 percent of DCPS’s teachers, four percent, at their heyday. This year the district brought in just 18, sort of.
I say sort of because the district no longer pays the expensive and roll over finder’s fees. The truth is TFA didn’t really make it to ten years in the district, it petered out last year.
This is his most fluff filled paragraph in a piece overflowing with fluff and self-serving platitudes to the point of embarrassment.
From the Times Union:
Looking ahead to the next 10 years and beyond, we must ensure our “Bold New City of the South” becomes an enduring reality for all citizens and for generations to come. We achieve this with a continued focus on attracting even more talented, diverse leaders into careers impacting education. We do this by continually investing in a system where teachers, school leaders, community members, and partners work collectively to expand opportunity for all children.
But they only have to stay for two years right? That us the average length of a TFA corp member stay in our Bold New City of the South, a motto I haven’t heard in over a decade, though why should Willie know that, he hasn’t lived here a decade yet.
Willie, with the backing of the corporate crowd who wants to privatize our schools, and with tons of cash, barely beat out a lifelong resident and true educator (Willie spent two years in Arkansas about 15 years ago) and the first thing of note he does is publish this drivel, which like everything he says and does is seriously light on a plan but it is worse than that.
DCPS is having community meetings most likely in an effort to ask for a millage or sales tax increase because our buildings are the oldest in the state with a billion dollars in needs, our teachers are some of the lowest paid in the nation and Tallahassee hasn’t taken care of its responsibilities, and he doesn’t mention that at all not once and instead drones on about TFA which I and many others believe hurt education.
Teach for America is (hopefully) in the districts rear view mirror, an example of a dark time when leadership didn’t think experience mattered and anybody could teach. It’s time we closed that book for good and moved on.
The chutzpah on this guy, I bet his house has a hundred mirrors.