P-D profile of local CTFAers. Change the proper names and any given big city newspaper could write pretty much this same article.
Here’s a few interesting tidbts that jumped out at me:
Having grown up in north St. Louis County, [Brittany Packnett, executive director of TFA-STL] knows the region’s churches, the key civic organizations, the neighborhoods. Having been educated at John Burroughs School and Washington University, she can speak the language of corporate benefactors who helped bring Teach for America to St. Louis 12 years ago and who continue to sustain it.
The daughter of two civic leaders, she also understands the layers of social and racial history that have contributed to decades of inequities in the region’s public schools.
Packnett’s father, the late Rev. Ronald Packnett, fought for better educational opportunities for African-Americans as pastor of Central Baptist Church in midtown. Her mother, Gwendolyn Packnett, is an assistant vice chancellor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
There’s starting to be a big outbreak of the black relatives of black preachers of major consequence getting nice jobs with nice titles. Why? Because “revvunds” are the big chiefs in Bell Curve City. If you keep the revvunds’s relatives happy, you keep the revvund happy. And if you keep the revvund happy, he dials down the incendiary rhetoric aimed at the young men in his flock.
The mother is an “assistant vice-chancellor” at UMSL. Isn’t that redundant? Actually, what that means is that universities, like governments, are getting top heavy with administrators, mainly as sinecures. The Federal government is full of “deputy assistant” this-or-that or “assistant deputy” this-or-that, and when you start seeing redundancies in formal job titles, you can bet that affirmative action is afoot. Meanwhile, more and more actual teaching duty in academia is being sourced to wage slaves with no hope of either tenure or a real paycheck.
Hamilton Elementary is one of the lowest performing schools in the city. A significant number of its 415 students are homeless or living in poverty.
“This is not easy work,” Frenchie told Packnett and Owen. “It is not for the faint of heart. I try to make that clear.”
CTFA seems to tout its successes in elementary schools, but hardly ever middle or high schools. Wonder why.
“People look at it like it’s a club for them to get their loans paid,” said Ray Cummings, vice president of American Federation of Teachers St. Louis. He was referring to the additional cash that corps members get for college loans. Then he lobbed another criticism at the organization. “Our kids need stability,” he said. “The lack of diversity doesn’t look too good in our district.”
CTFA stands to be criticized for a lot, but this is silly. The complaint here is that CTFAers stay only as long as they need to in order to have part of their student loans paid for them, or sometimes not even that long, and the constant revolving door of CTFAers is the reason why black elementary school students have a hard time learning. Pardon me, but last I recall, in elementary school, you get a new teacher every school year. (When I was in ES, I actually had mid-year changes in my prime teacher in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades.) And when you get to middle school, you have a different teacher for every subject.