Everyday on the ride to work I hear what I thought was a PSA for Teach for America on WJCT and I have to tell you it really frustrates me. A Columbia report said TFA greatly exacerbates Duval’s teacher retention problem. They take non-education majors put them through a five week access course and then put them in our neediest schools or the exact opposite of what we know to be best.
I can’t imagine WJCT would hire anybody with that background but for some reason they support Duval County doing it a decision that many other cities have chosen not to make preferring to work to staff their classrooms with professional teachers or people who might make teaching a career, not something for somebody to do while they wait for grad school. In short Teach for America says experience and education don’t matter, anybody can be a teacher and I and many, many others find that insulting.
So I asked them since there are so many great charities and organizations out there that they could do PSAs for, why have they chosen an organization that is divisive and arguably is bad for students and the teaching profession.
This is what I was told: Thanks for your email. The Teach for America spots that you hear are not PSA’s provided by our station. They are paid messages, underwritten by the Chartrand Foundation. The foundation rotates messages for several nonprofit organizations throughout the year.
This is the same Chartrand foundation that funds their education coverage. Click the link, it says it right there.
So basicaly they are ads paid for by the local face of the privatization movement Gary Chartrand.
Here is the thing, there is an education debate going on and I and others are on one side and Chartrand and others are on the other. However I don’t think WJCT should be on either, but with these ads, them taking money from him and even giving him awards, it sure seems like they are.