I Quit Teach for America

Olivia Blanchard, The Atlantic, September 23, 2013

I am sitting in a comfortable gold folding chair inside one of the many ballrooms at the Georgia International Convention Center. The atmosphere is festive, with a three-course dinner being served and children playing a big-band number. The kids are students at a KIPP academy in Atlanta, and they are serenading future teachers on the first night of a four-day-long series of workshops that will introduce us to the complicated language, rituals, and doctrines we will need to adopt as Teach for America “Corps Members.”

The phrase closing the achievement gap is the cornerstone of TFA’s general philosophy, public-relations messaging, and training sessions. As a member of the 2011 corps, I was told immediately and often that 1) the achievement gap is a pervasive example of inequality in America, and 2) it is our personal responsibility to close the achievement gap within our classrooms, which are microcosms of America’s educational inequality.

These are laudable goals. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, white fourth-graders performed better than their black peers on 2007 standardized mathematics exams in all 46 states where results were available. In 2004, there was a 23-point gap in mathematics scale scores between white and black 9-year-olds, with the gap growing to 26 points for 13-year-olds.

But between these two messages lies the unspoken logic that current, non-TFA teachers and schools are failing at the task of closing the achievement gap, through some combination of apathy or incompetence. Although TFA seminars and presentations never explicitly accuse educators of either, the implication is strong within the program’s very structure: recruit high-achieving college students, train them over the summer, and send them into America’s lowest-performing schools to make things right. The subtext is clear: Only you can fix what others have screwed up. It was an implication I noticed when an e-mail I received during Institute, the five-week training program, referring to “a system of students who have simply not been taught.” The e-mail explained, “That’s really what the achievement gap is—for all of the external factors that may or may not add challenges to our students’ lives—mostly it is that they really and truly have not been taught and are therefore years behind where they need to be.”

I later asked a TFA spokesperson if this e-mail reflects the organization’s official views on traditionally trained teachers. He denied that TFA believes “the shortcomings of public education” to be “the fault of teachers. If anything,” he added, “teachers are victims of more-structural problems: inequitable funding; inadequate systems of training and supporting teachers; the absence of strong school and district leadership.” Nonetheless, at the time, the dramatic indictment of America’s non-TFA teachers would stay with me as I headed into the scandal-ridden Atlanta Public Schools system.

In the weeks between accepting the offer to join TFA and the start of our training, I was told by e-mail that “as a 2011 corps member and leader, you have a deep personal and collective responsibility to ground everything you do in your belief that the educational inequality that persists along socioeconomic and racial lines is both our nation’s most fundamental injustice and a solvable problem. This mindset,” I was reminded, “is at the core of our Teach For America—Metro Atlanta Community.”

At the time, I appreciated TFA’s apparent confidence in me as a leader. I assumed that I would learn the concrete steps I needed to achieve this transformation during the training program. Instead I was immersed in a sea of jargon, buzzwords, and touchy-feely exercises. {snip}

{snip}

Once the school year began, I found myself teaching in a 500-student K–5 school with two other corps members and three TFA alumni. The school’s other 30 teachers had gone through some version of a traditional teaching program, involving years of studying educational theory and practice, as well as extensive student teaching. As I got to know my new colleagues and some level of trust was established, it didn’t take long to discover that TFA’s five-week training model was a source of resentment for these teachers. Not only were we youngsters going into “rough” schools with the stated goal of changing what they had not been able to, but we had done this with only half a summer’s worth of preparation. I began to understand why my TFA status instantly communicated to other teachers that I found myself superior.

{snip} The truth was, the five-week training program had not prepared me adequately.

During my training, I taught a group of nine well-behaved third-graders who had failed the state reading test and hoped to make it to fourth grade. Working with three other corps members, which created a generous teacher-student ratio, I had ample time for one-on-one instruction.

That classroom training was completely unlike the situation I now faced in Atlanta: teaching math and science to two 20-person groups of rotating, difficult fifth-graders—fifth-graders so difficult that multiple substitute teachers would vow never to teach fifth grade at our school again.

I had few insights or resources to draw on when preteen boys decided recess would be the perfect opportunity to beat each other bloody, or when parents all but accused me of being racist during meetings. Or when a student told me that his habit of doing nothing during class stemmed from his (admittedly sound) logic that “I did the same thing last year and I passed.” {snip}

{snip}

On its website, TFA makes a bold claim that “By the end of Institute, corps members have developed a foundation of knowledge, skills, and mindsets needed to be effective beginning teachers.” Training is supposed to include teaching “for an average of two hours each day … observed by experienced teachers,” “extensive lesson planning instruction,” and constant opportunities for feedback. Personally, I taught two 90-minute classes per week, a far cry from the 10 hours per week described in the publicity materials—and “experienced teachers” usually meant new TFA alumni with two years of classroom experience.

{snip}

I am standing, arms crossed, back hunched, whispering with Ms. Jones, as we sort supplies our students will need for the Criterion Referenced Competency Test. In the last few free minutes before testing begins, Ms. Jones is sharing her candid, and often hilarious, views on first-year teaching. “It’s wrong!” she whispers passionately, her eyebrows shoot up far into her forehead. Ms. Jones is known as a no-nonsense veteran teacher, and I had found her quite intimidating before I realized she is incredibly kind. “It’s wrong to put teachers in the classroom with no experience, Ms. Blanchard. I went through a teaching program, and I taught in four different classrooms before I ever had these kids on my own.” Looking at Ms. Jones’ perfectly behaved, high-achieving third-graders and comparing them with my own unruly students, I can see her point. The intercom buzzes to announce a five-minute warning before testing will begin, and that reminds Ms. Jones of the labyrinthine set of test procedures to come. “Make sure they have their pencils, Ms. Blanchard, we can’t have any testing irregularities. You know we have to cover ourselves. Everyone’s watching this building, and I don’t know about you, but Ms. Jones is not fixing to be on Channel 2 tonight.”

{snip}

I’d been at TFA training, about to head into this system, when the official report on the cheating scandal in the Atlanta Public Schools was released. My immediate reaction was shock that so many teachers could be complicit in something so outrageously dishonest. Midway through the school year, though, I came to understand exactly how it had happened. APS has some of the best teachers in the country, but surviving in the district means covering yourself, and during standardized testing this means ensuring objective success. In a top-down, ruthless bureaucracy like APS, teachers are front-line foot soldiers, not educators encouraged to pursue their calling.

Atlanta Public Schools teachers spend countless hours teaching to exhaustion, spending their own money on classroom supplies, and buying basic necessities for their poorest students, only to be reminded constantly that their job performance will be judged according to test answers bubbled in by wobbly little fingers barely able to hold a pencil upright. {snip}

Teach for America cited the Atlanta scandal as a sad example of what is wrong with education’s status quo, one of the many reasons America’s schools need even more reform and innovation. But what occurred to me, as I worked my way, ill-prepared, through Atlanta Public Schools, was that the two systems are not as far apart as either might like to suggest. TFA is at least as enamored of numerical “data points” of success as APS is. TFA strongly encourages its teachers to base their classes’ “big goals” around standardized-test scores. Past and present corps members are asked to stand to thunderous applause if their students have achieved some objectively impressive measure of achievement, and everyone knows that the best way to work for and rise through TFA ranks is to have a great elevator pitch about how your students’ scores improved by X percent.

{snip}

By the end of my time at TFA and Atlanta Public Schools, I came to feel that both organizations had a disconnect between their public ideals and their actual effectiveness. APS invests in beautiful new buildings and glossy public-relations messaging, only to pressure its teachers into pedagogical conformity that often prevents them from reaching the district’s most remedial students. Likewise, TFA promotes a public image of eager high achievers dedicated to one mission, reaching “Big Goals” that pull students out of the achievement gap, where non-TFA teachers have let them fall. But in my experience, many if not most corps members are confused about their purpose, uncertain of their skills, and struggling to learn the basics.

{snip}

I have no reason to doubt studies showing that TFA teachers are more effective—after all, they are recruited from a pool of the country’s hardest-working college students, and good teaching is nothing if not hard work. But Teach for America aspires to close the achievement gap by training teachers that are significantly better than educators already in the system. Can simply being “at least as effective as other teachers” really be cited as success?

I am sitting in a black, leather office chair in my new Washington, D.C., office. I have just been hired at a private company whose vision statement says nothing about closing the achievement gap, and the time has come to send TFA an e-mail announcing that I am leaving the program. I have completed only one year of my two-year commitment, knowing full well that this kind of mission-shirking is seen as a very serious, selfish betrayal within TFA. However, the reality is that my employer has been Atlanta Public Schools, my contract with the district was only for one year, and most of my teaching experiences have been defined by the messy struggles of Atlanta Public Schools, not the comfortable mantras of TFA. I struggle to summon the guilt I know I am supposed to be feeling. My large-screen computer monitor rests sturdily in front of me, and the cursor on an empty Word document blinks.What can I say to them?, I wonder. I steel myself against the possibility of criticism, against accusations of apathy, inability, or lack of leadership.

When I click Gmail’s Send button, though, I am flooded with relief rather than dread. Because the truth is, by finally showing I don’t believe that American education can be saved by youthful enthusiasm, I feel more like a leader than I ever did inside the corps.

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  • Hal K

    Only you can fix what others have screwed up.

    She doesn’t sound like a race realist. Nothing has been “screwed up.” It is just the way things are.

    • Andy

      She isn’t. But it sounds like she might be questioning!

    • Nothing has been “screwed up”; blacks and browns are operating exactly the way their evolution intended them to.

      • YngveKlezmer

        They are indeed my friend. You and I know this, and many out here know this, but we have been pressed into cyberspace by Liberal tyranny. Thomas Jefferson felt that American Indians could and would live amongst us White Americans in a prosperous and successful society, but felt strongly that the Negro could not be integrated into our society, and should not be integrated into our society, and they are too different from us for anything positive to come from such an integration. He certainly was right on the money.
        Abe Lincoln, whom Blacks like to call The Great Emancipator, was a passionate racial realist as well. He felt that any type of integration of Blacks into our European Culture would be an absolute disaster for American society, because the Negro race is simply not compatible with us. This is why he had The Liberia Project going, and quite a few Negroes were sent back to Africa. If only he had taken a Copperhead stance on the war, allowed The Confederate States of America to be created, and proceeded to move Down South and help the South with a Liberia Project type endeavor, just think how nice a country we would now live in. I love revisionist history!!

  • mgs166

    Blacks should be on their knees everyday to thank and grovel before Whites just for allowing them to be in the same classroom as Whites. That is where “equal opportunity” begins and ends. Equal opportunity does not imply equal outcome.

    • CaptainCroMag

      Blacks should not be allowed to be in the same classrooms as Whites. They ruin the education experience for everyone else and aren’t capable of learning on the level of Whites. It’s a waste of the teachers’ time and the Black students’ time, but worst of all, it wastes the time of White students, the ones that actually have something to offer for our future.

      • GeneticsareDestiny

        Blacks should not be allowed to be in the same countries as whites. They ruin the living experience for everyone else and aren’t capable of following the law on the level of whites. It’s a waste of the justice system’s time and the blacks’ time, but worst of all, it’s a waste of the hard-earned money generated by whites, the ones that actually have something to offer for our future.

        [Just thought I’d do a little rewrite and take the idea a bit further.]

        • YngveKlezmer

          I’ve said this since my teen years, when I had to attend a high school that was about 25% Black. After the War of Northern Aggression ended, Abe Lincoln had a good thing going with the Liberia Project. We didn’t finish the job. All of the Negroes needed to be sent back. Later on, when the former American Blacks enslaved the native Africans, and engaged in a level of brutality few Blacks in our American South had ever experienced, we should have upbraided these former American Blacks for re-creating a genteel society like the American South, and allowed no immigration whatsoever to America from Africa.

      • borogirl54

        They end up disrupting the class and the teacher spends more disciplining the few troubled students instead of teaching the class.

      • YngveKlezmer

        Of course they should not. This is why all of the Southern states had segregated schools until a tyrannical Northern Government, that did not understand the issue at hand, forced the South to integrate their schools. Even some areas in the North, such as Indiana and Southern New Jersey, had separate schools for Blacks for many years. This is also why, after our Government forced integration, most schools remained or became de facto segregated. Once Blacks became a large minority in most Northern schools, parents moved, or sent their kids to private schools, to get their kids away from being bullied by the Black children. Those Whites who were trapped, too poor to leave, were stuck dealing with daily bullying and cruelty at the hands of the young Bantus. If our Government had a shred of decency, the cries for help from such poor White students would have been honored by a re-segregation of our American school system. This has not happened, though, because our Government, ever since the Civil Rights movement, has only been concerned with non-White Civil Rights.

    • Uncle Bob

      Amen and absolutely. They should be reminded how very fortunate they are every day, everywhere, by everyone.

    • YngveKlezmer

      They should indeed!! They should be thanking us daily for bringing them here, and saving them from the cruel fate which awaited them at the hands of their African slave masters. They should be taught the truth about history, that the best thing that ever happened to their race was when they ended up as slaves in the Southern United States, where at least 71% of them, but most likely about 95% of them, were treated better than their African brethren would have ever treated them, by the White, Anglo-Celtic people of the South. Let’s be honest. The first Africans to live on a Southern farm probably thought they had died and gone to heaven. All they had to do was an honest day’s work in the field, and they were well fed, clothed, and housed, and never had to worry about how they would survive. The type of violence that was the rule in Africa was frowned upon by these White masters they worked for, discouraged and curbed whenever it would break out. The few intelligent Blacks obviously knew how fortunate they were to be in the American South. Hatred of Whites came when jealousy kicked in. Blacks began to see that we were their superiors, and that this was genetically based destiny. This fueled jealousy and hatred of the very Whites who had rescued them from their former hell, and given them a better life.

  • Olivia Blanchard has some work to do.

    Doesn’t she realize that the purpose of Can’t Teach for America, the real purpose, that is, is for school districts to be able to ditch its expensive high salary high health care expense older teachers with families and children and replace them with young dweebs who are cheaper in salary, no families, low health care costs and no tenure or collective bargaining rights?

    But don’t think those reduced personnel costs will mean that your property tax rates will go down. Oh no. Can’t do that, it’s for the children. The way I figure, all that money districts aren’t spending on teacher compensation by swapping out older unionized tenured teachers for young CTFA dingbats is being spent elsewhere. Wherever and whoever that “elsewhere” is, that’s the Cui Bono money trail we need to figure out who is funding screeds like Waiting for Superman and much of the cult of “school choice.”

    • White Mom in WDC

      Having taught in DCPS, the sources of waste are usually contractors. That’s where most of the money goes in these hellhole school districts, to independent contractors. In DC, there is a whole cottage industry of blood sucking Ed advocates who make money off of suing the school district for not providing the ‘appropriate’ services to special education students. These kids get tested till the cows come home by speech language therapists, psychologists, occupational therapists. It all boils down to piss poor parenting from the Afro village aka housing projects and/ or Section 8. I remember working in Philly and the nurses were picking cockroaches off a kid who was stuck in a wheelchair. In BiG B, I had a seventh grader get Preggo and invite me to her baby shower. Another girl in my class came to school with a stab wound. I could tell a ton of stories.

      • Oh boy, contractors. The same parasites who are sucking blood from our military budget and turning “national defense” into a self-serving circus. And of course, you hint around trial lawyers, the John Edwards style shysters who leech off of anything they can. (*) Remember that trial lawyers are a huge fund raising component of the Democrat Party, and the Democrat-left establishment has in very recent years ditched those “all powerful” (?) teachers unions (which supposedly had a stranglehold on the Democrat Party) and signed onto the “school choice” meme. Remember, Boy Guggenheim, who did Waiting For Superman, is a big time official Democrat Party apparatchik.

        Now I’m starting to get a clearer picture.

        * – Still, my apologetics for the legal profession in general that I have made here on AR and in other places remains firm.

        • MBlanc46

          The great free enterprise system at work.

        • ShermanTMcCoy

          Not to argue, but I was a defense contractor, programming systems for the USAF. I had tried to get into civil service, but I didn’t have the proper racial bona fides, I guess. To make a long story short, we contractors did the work, while black GS-13s took 3 hour lunches, chased the white secretaries, and did no work that I ever saw.

          Just another point of view. Obviously, I am in agreement with White Mom and QD.

  • John Ulfsson

    Sorry egalitarians, this isn’t Disney. Wishing hard enough won’t change the reality of racial disparities.

    • Garrett Brown

      No matter how much money they continue to pour into our education system(we’ve spent more on school funding than our own military) it won’t make any difference. If we continue to allow immigration we continue to allow declining school results.

  • D.B. Cooper

    I looked at the official site, and it’s black run, of course.
    Here is where the Republican Party needs to propose cuts. You either show results, or the funding stops.

    • CTFA teachers are mostly white. But you’re right nonetheless about how it should be cut.

      • leftists are delusional

        “they are recruited from a pool of the country’s hardest-working college students.”

        Obviously, there are not many blax in the above category.

  • Ella

    You can have all the wonderful teachers in the world but if you don’t have parents who can read or stabilize family life, low-income children will rarely outperform the students from traditional families. The love for reading begins at a young age. These public schools supposedly close the racial gaps by plainly simplifying the learning material.

    • Hal K

      Except that poor white students have been found to outperform affluent black students.

  • William Krapek

    It’s amazing how the noble professions have been poisoned in this country because we keep trying to shove ten pounds of Shi’ite into a five pound bag. Thus teachers and doctors are beat to crap. Forced to spend time and energy on people who won’t lift a finger for their own salvation and enlightenment.

    You know what I call black “culture?” Snout-in-the-trough. It’s amazing how *small* these people are. Their spiritual poverty long precedes their material.

    • IstvanIN

      Their spiritual poverty long precedes their material.
      True. I believe because they are soulless. Look at video of them beating and killing someone, the sheer joy they receive from acts of cruelty is astounding. No different from a hyena, well, worse than a hyena.

  • JohnEngelman

    If an article like this gets into The Atlantic, it is evidence that the constraints imposed by political correctness are weakening. It may be the case that more people are getting tired of lying in public.

    • Ella

      I wish, John. Or, try wasting our tax monies that show no significant results. We do run mass deficits on all levels from education to bloated federal government.

      • JohnEngelman

        The money wasted on No Child Left Behind and Head Start could have been spend establishing a colony on the moon.

        At the very least it could have been spent building more prisons for those who are inherently dangerous.

  • Spartacus

    Groids are dumb. People who say otherwise are even dumber. Is there anything more that needs saying ?

    • FransSusan

      Convincing others of that fact is the hard part.

  • Gotsumpnferya

    I moved to SoFlo from N Va in fifth grade .
    The school immediately wanted to move me up two grades because the material
    was that much advanced in N Va compared to Florida . I didn’t know it at first , but learned quickly why . Leave no child behind , drag those who can be educated down .

  • Erasmus

    We should have picked our own cotton.

    • Spartacus

      Not really. You should’ve just gotten rid of them after they weren’t useful any more.

      • Whitetrashgang

        No we should have never had slavery to begin with, well except just importing more white serfs .No mud people should ever been brought here period.

    • Derp

      Yes.

    • FransSusan

      Most of “us” did pick our own cotton. It’s a mistake to think that all whites owned slaves that did all their work for them. Most whites didn’t own any slaves and struggled to maintain a subsistence living. Too many believe that the South was full of only rich white plantation owners a la Gone with the Wind, which couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s a clever phrase, “We should have picked our own cotton”, and it’s indeed tragic that the negroes were brought to these shores, but most whites had a harder life than the slaves!

      • JohnEngelman

        Poor whites in the South were foolish to fight to defend slavery.

        • dd121

          That is NOT what they were fighting for. They were fighting for the same reason that Republicans feel disenfranchised today. The political balance of power had shifted with the introduction of more states in the north and west brought into the union that were aligned with the North. They were about to be overwhelmed politically, just as conservatives are today.

          • JohnEngelman

            White blue collar Republicans are probably voting for a restoration of the economic and social conditions of the 1950’s. Back then it was possible for most white blue collar workers in the United States to own a house in the suburbs, support several children and a wife who did not need to work, and get pay raises every year that beat inflation. Blacks were subservient. The crime rate was lower than it has been since. The message of the popular culture, expressed in Hollywood movies, television programs, and popular songs was that “love and marriage go together like a house and carriage.”

            What white blue collar workers get from their votes for the GOP is an economic order in which their pay checks buy less every year, while their employers get richer.

          • David Ashton

            How did this change in popular culture come about? Was there more money in muck? You are pleased that white ethnocentrism (the chief object of American Renaissance) is “fading”, but not so pleased that marital fidelity and sexual decency are likewise under attack. Haven’t sexual and racial promiscuity gone pretty much hand in hand in popular culture?

          • JohnEngelman

            They certainly have. A number of factors have lead to the change in sexual mores. I cannot document this, but I read a column a number of years ago by Michael Medved who said that a Gallup survey taken in the United States in 1969 indicated that the clear majority of Americans still believed that sex outside of marriage was always wrong. Michael Medved said that had changed dramatically by 1974.

            Why the change? The invention of birth control pills and the legalization of abortion in 1973 reduced the serious consequences of sex outside of marriage.

            Playboy magazine started publishing in 1953. This marketed high quality soft core pornography. Hugh Hefner found a demand and satisfied it. That is the way capitalism works. He also popularized a libertarian sex code for men. During the 1960’s Helen Gurley Brown did the same for women with her book “Sex and the Single Girl,” and and as publisher of Cosmopolitan magazine.

            Finally, I think the War in Vietnam contributed. That war was justified in terms of traditional morality. You know, patriotism, respect for authority, all that. When young people turned against against the War in Vietnam they usually turned against traditional morality, including everything that was wise in it.

            There was no conspiracy of “secular humanists” or “cultural Marxists.” It all happened in the open. It was promoted by those who clearly explained what they were doing.

          • David Ashton

            The Vietnam war is worth investigating as one among many almost simultaneous factors, though less applicable to western Europe. The availability of contraception was most important. There was and is a political campaign for abortion, and for a “permissive society” in which obscene imagery has been promoted as “free speech”; and more recently homosexual activity has been assisted by the combination of the “capitalist” pink pound and the “liberal” gay rights. The common enemy is the “restrictive” traditional family-values morality of Christianity and Orthodox Judaism; “Red Bohemia” (Ben Gitlow). Hefner was a leader in the soft-core bunny nonsense, but other and nastier people have been involved in the financial exploitation of sex addiction in America and elsewhere, notably on the internet today – scarcely credible filth and perversion. This of course has its spin-off in the fashion world and teen “music”, exemplified by Miley “sex, drugs & rap” Cyrus.

            Secular humanist and cultural Marxist contributions to the sexual revolution, including varieties of female “liberation” (largely Jewess-led, incidentally) and dope addiction, were what H. G. Wells might have called “open conspiracies”. Reich, Marcuse, Kinsey and others, Gentile and Jew, have followed in the footsteps of Bebel, Blum and Hirschfeld. No secret, but no accident either. As for lowering the barriers in screen/video entertainment, you know what Michael Medved thinks, and I am inclined to agree with him. You can respond to corrupt taste, but you can also corrupt it.

          • JohnEngelman

            In one of his books Michael Medved presents evidence that G and PG rated movies tend to be more profitable than R rated movies. However slightly over half of Hollywood movies are R rated.

            He also said that while there is a market for nudity, there is not a market for obscene words. Even people who use those words habitually are not attracted to movies that include them. Nor are they drawn away from movies that do not.

            Medved, who is an Orthodox Jew, argues that R movies are favored because they reflect the values of the people who make them. I have not read his book. I have not examined his evidence. His argument is plausible. Still, what he describes falls short of a conspiracy. No one forces anyone to attend R rated movies. I usually find them distasteful.

            When the Motion Picture Code was in effect, obscene words, nudity, obvious sex, and graphic violence were prohibited. Nevertheless, movie masterpieces were made back then.

            Even before the code movies very rarely included nudity or obscene words. They did deal with serious themes, such as prostitution, rape, and incest.

          • David Ashton

            Well, we can agree on the movie masterpieces. The Hollywood Greats did not need car chases, exploding buildings, shooting sprees, sadistic horror, infantile plots or simple expletives to satisfy audiences. They had good stories and interesting characters.

          • JohnEngelman

            Consider the movie “Casablanca.” It does not clearly say that Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund had had a sexual affair in Paris. I imagine many people who watched the movie, especially teenagers, assumed that they had maintained a chaste courtship.

            If the movie was made now there would be nude sex scenes between Rich and Ilsa.

          • kjh64

            “Secular humanist and cultural Marxist contributions to the sexual revolution, including varieties of female “liberation””

            Also, the “boys will be boys” mentality contributed greatly. It was a form of “male liberation” whereas men set it up so that is was not only ok for them to sleep around but expected whereas women were sluts who did the same thing. If men had rightfully held themselves to the same moral standards as they held women, you wouldn’t have a lot of the problems in society.

          • JohnEngelman

            David,

            You mentioned Alfred Charles Kinsey. His “Sexual Behavior in the Human Female,” published in 1953 shocked Americans by reporting that half of American women were not virgins when they got married. Because Kinsey overestimated the percentage of homosexuals, he probably underestimated the percentage of bridal virgins.

            That certainly has changed.

          • David Ashton

            His “research”, personality and purpose have been subjected to devastating if belated criticism. There is no doubt about the effects of the “sexual revolution” in the western world today. People make history, rather than vice-versa, and the sexual revolution had its revolutionaries.

          • JohnEngelman

            Revolutions require revolutionary conditions. If it had not been for the First World War Vladimir Lenin and Adolf Hitler would have died in obscurity.

            If it had not been for the Second World War I doubt there would have been a civil rights movement.

            One does not get places by changing people’s minds. One gets places by articulating and channeling sentiments that already exist.

            That is why there is no point in trying to turn back the calender on an issue like inter racial marriage. Nor is there any point in trying to achieve a white ethno state. Those who try lose credibility on issues where they might be effective.

          • David Ashton

            Wars too are made by men. Movements are started and organised by them. So are technological innovations, philosophical systems and female costumes. Would there have been a Christianity without Christ? Persuasion does indeed require the utilisation of existing wants which are then redirected into novel channels.

            Turning back the calendar is a metaphor. Stalin put a stop to free love and mass abortion in the Soviet Union, and Hitler put a stop to race mixture in Nazi Germany. I am not saying we can or should emulate them, but you never know what might happen, or even become fashionable. “A single spark can start a prairie fire”. I do not propose “white ethno states”, and have said so here, but I do prefer the white majority nations to retain their white majorities, and this is where “American Renaissance” has its international role.

          • JohnEngelman

            I too favor more restrictions on immigration.

            I favor no restrictions into a scientific inquiry into the biological reasons for racial differences in average ability levels and behavior.

            These are areas where American Renaissance can be effective.

          • We could also talk about the 1973 War. Why weren’t you there, John?

          • JohnEngelman

            I would have welcomed the opportunity to fight for Israel in 1967 and 1973, but I am not an Israeli citizen, and I am not Jewish. I am not sure what that has to do with this topic, however.

          • LolKatzen

            Automation and computerization are making that 1950’s life even less attainable. Did you catch that NYT article a day or two ago about textile mills returning to the US? But there’s a catch. Where a mill once needed 2,000 workers now it only needs 140.

          • JohnEngelman

            The Democrats do not have a solution to that problem. The Republicans do not think it is a problem. The people they care about are getting richer than ever before in American history.

        • ShermanTMcCoy

          As a descendant of poor white trash who were paid substandard wages down South because of the unfair competition of cheap slave labor, I am still waiting for my reparations. Incidentally, the first of our family to come to America was a white indentured servant. I wouldn’t want to disgust you with the stories passed down about what she went through. But I’d feel much better if some cash were to be thrown my way.

        • WR_the_realist

          Well, they weren’t all fighting for slavery. Robert E. Lee was born to a slave owning family, but eventually decided that slavery was incompatible with Christianity, and he was a devout Christian. So he freed his slaves well before the Civil War began. Whatever Lee was fighting for, it wasn’t slavery.

        • Brian

          I suppose Germans were foolish to fight for the Wehrmacht also? There’s not a cafeteria menu where you look at what each nation stands for and you pick the one you like. You fight for your country, period. You may not like slavery or at least you don’t have any, but people fight for a lot of reasons. Why did my 17-year-old g-g-g-gf fight as a Reb in Florida? Did he get drafted or volunteer? Did he join because of pressure from his family, to impress a girl with his courage, to leave home and seek adventure, to defend slavery, to fight off Yankee invaders pillaging his own state, or something else?

          • Puggg

            Most people overthink these things. Your g(3)-gf fought for Dixie because Dixie was his country, his team, his tribe, his breed. Odds are he didn’t even spend five seconds thinking about the ideology or (pardon the pun) DOG-ma about why he was fighting.

          • I fought for Croatia because they wanted to secede. I made about US $40 a month until I got dinged. My mother would have wanted me to do a good job, so I did a good job.

          • FransSusan

            I’d like to know the answer to your question, too. It’s impossible for me to believe that southerners fought to defend slavery, when most of them did not own a single slave.

          • Brian

            The Civil War was more about slavery than any other single issue, certainly. The stated cause of the north might be to preserve the union, and that of the south to self-determination, but it never would have come to a war in the first place without slavery, so I think in the sociological sense, slavery is why both sides were fighting.

            Beyond that, you have the individual reasons for each soldier. Why did we invade Iraq? The Bush administration made the decision, and gave various reasons for it. As for Private Sixpack, he’s in the army (and thus invading Iraq) for a paycheck, general patriotism, to get money for college, or various other reasons that may have nothing to do with Bush’s reasons. For the south, the state legislators and big plantation owners were heavily overlapping– they wanted to defend slavery, whether the actual fighting man did or not.

            But I can see how Private Sixpack might want to defend slavery, even if he didn’t own any. He might want to have slaves, but can’t afford it. Few back then would have had modern egalitarian attitudes on race, either north or south. And for the poor southern white man, having slavery provides a floor for his own social status– no matter how poor and desperate he is, he’s never the bottom of the heap in society…the slave is, and he is at least a free, voting, white male citizen. If slavery ends, he and the black man are equalized and he might not want that.

            As for my g-g-g-gf, he could have had this reasoning, even as a non-slaveowner. But he could have had many others as well.

          • FransSusan

            Well said, Brian. I see your point about individual reasons, and I know that slavery was a big political issue at the time of the war. I’ll never believe, though, that southerners risked/gave their lives to defend slavery or that northern/union soldiers gave theirs for a high moral principle (ending slavery). That’s just government propaganda, which is what starts all modern wars. All wars are fought for economic reasons. Iraq is a good example of how the corrupt US government uses fear tactics to justify its war mongering. I suspect the same thing was going on prior to the Civil War.

          • Brian

            You’re right. There’s also a distinction to be made, for the poor southern white man (non-slaveowner), as to his opinion before the war, versus during it. Even if I think we shouldn’t secede, it’s going to end badly, slavery is not worth defending, etc… what do I do once the state legislature has overruled me and seceded anyway? The Yankees are on their way, about to wreck my town. Even if reluctantly, I have to take up arms to keep my own farm from being burned out.

        • FransSusan

          I’m not convinced that Southerners did fight to defend slavery. The causes of the Civil War are complicated–and it seems it was a political war rather than just a defense of slavery. I know that slavery had been a major bone of contention between the rich southern landowners/cotton plantations (that controlled the south) and the northern power structure/union for many years before the war began. Slavery was on the wane by the time the war began. The arguments between political parties then as now were a cause of strife. I think the biggest issue was whether or not to allow slavery in the western territories, as those areas were developing. I’ve done a lot of research into the Civil War, and I still have questions about the politics of the time.

        • You can not even imagine how bad it was. Worse than merely “foolish”.

        • YngveKlezmer

          At least 80% of them were not fighting to defend slavery. They were fighting to avoid living under the tyrannical Government of the North, the same government that later would force their children to attend school with the little Negro bullies. Most of these folks probably knew that slavery would be ending soon anyway, and wanted the freedom to effectively send the Negroes back to Africa, instead of submitting to the tyranny of the New England Abolitionists.
          This very issue is why the North was full of Copperheads, especially in the areas close to the Mason Dixon line, and in areas with large recent European Immigrant populations. Remember, gangs of New York was about Irish Immigrants fighting against being drafted into the Union Army to die over the Negro issue.

      • jeffaral

        Had the South seceded, the stinking rich white plantation owners would have annexed the whole Caribbean-Cuba, Hispaniola, the Bahamas… Would be paradise for them and hell for the poor Whites.

    • WR_the_realist

      And today we should be mowing our own lawns, putting up our own drywall, and paying enough for farm labor that American citizens will do the work. Importing another underclass for cheap labor is repeating the mistake of our ancestors.

  • Sharps Rifle

    “More effective”? In which alternate universe????? I taught in a high school which had three TFA poseurs, and all three had fifty percent and greater failure rates. These individuals did NO teaching, but a LOT of leftist indoctrinating! I am a teacher who came into the profession in my 30’s, after military service and time working as a cowboy. I have a degree in my subject area (History) and a butt-load of life experience! I spent the best part of two and a half years earning a teaching certification ON TOP of the BA I already had (and, yes, College of Education graduates have fewer credit hours in their major fields than do Arts and Sciences graduates…and the College of Ed. grads are way less informed. I earned my BA through Arts and Sciences and it was a LOT of hard work)! These TFA fools came from “elite” universities back east (one was from Hahvahd)…and they didn’t know SQUAT about their subjects! They ignored state standards, didn’t teach things which THEY didn’t want to teach (one was allegedly an English teacher, she failed to teach any written material because “these kids can’t write anyway”…the one who was a History teacher ignored the American Revolution because she said “it was a fraud” and the one who taught Government consistently misrepresented the Constitution), and eventually got our building’s administration (one Ed.D. and one Ph.D.) so fed up that all three were sent back and the district was informed that we would NOT accept TFA people in our building again.
    About their students? Well, the REAL teachers ended up having to teach those young folks. I taught not just TO, but BEYOND, state standards. I took the time to make sure my students understood the material presented and made sure it was not dull and boring. I kept in contact with parents and guardians and did NOT make it easy on my students. The only students who failed my classes were those who didn’t do any work, and whose parents didn’t give a damn. The others passed. Not all had an A, but most were B’s and A’s with some C’s and a very few D’s. The F’s were ones who had mostly zeroes in the grade book…fewer than 5 percent failed my classes.
    Schools CAN work, but it requires effort from EVERYONE involved. If parents aren’t willing to do their share, the students may do fairly well, but not as well as they otherwise could. The same if the teachers are lazy or incompetent, or if the administration is detached and clueless. Ultimately, if the students don’t do THEIR part, nothing will happen. TFA is an insult to the majority of teachers who want to do their jobs and do it well. If you go in with the condescending attitude these creeps have, YES, you WILL fail! But if you view your students as just kids and treat them fairly and with the same concern that you hope they have for your subject, you will succeed. That can’t come from five weeks of indoctrination…it comes from actually being in schools and learning what really goes on. TFA is a bad joke…I’m not shocked that it came about while Clinton was president and even less shocked that Bush didn’t do anything to end it (it draws some federal funding, as I understand it). If you have kids in a school with TFA teachers, GET THEM OUT OF THOSE CLASSES AS SOON AS YOU CAN! They won’t be educated, they’ll be indoctrinated…and then keep on the butts of the REAL teachers to make sure they aren’t doing the same thing. Not everyone can afford private schools, or has the time to home school (a little thing called “making a living” has to be taken care of), so parents and guardians need to be the watchdogs over the public schools. If they aren’t performing, GET ON THEM LIKE STINK ON SH*T! It’s your tax money…make them use it the way it needs to be! Don’t leave your kids to TFA or to the NEA!
    (and yes, I still am a teacher)

    • That begs a question that’s been gnawing in my head for awhile.

      What are teachers that young, TFA or otherwise, doing teaching high school? They’re barely older than their students. When I was in high school, I don’t remember a teacher younger than about 45, and the order of the day was heads with a lot of visible gray hair, many were mostly gray.

      • Sharps Rifle

        What I’ve found is that folks that young still have the extreme arrogance of youth. Doesn’t help them any with their students…actually makes it worse sometimes.

        • It has been found that young cops, full of the arrogant self-important bromides of “I’m going to make a difference,” (instead of the jaded views of experienced cops who long ago lost their youthful arrogance and know that they’re there to arrest bad guys) are the ones who are far more likely to be shot and killed in the line of duty. See Into the Kill Zone by David Klinger.

      • Sick of it

        The younger teachers sleep with their students. We see news stories on it all the time.

        • borogirl54

          Some even marry their former students remember Mary Kay Letourneau, who had children with her former student and spent seven years in prison and married her former student when he turned 21 and the authorities could no longer get involved.

          • Sick of it

            She was pretty…but what she hooked up with was anything but.

          • Many of us are more aware of her father than her. Her father was the late Congressman John Schmitz from Orange County, California, a thorn in Nixon’s side, and the nominee for President in 1972 of the third party George Wallace founded for his own Presidential run in 1968.

    • WR_the_realist

      the one who taught Government consistently misrepresented the Constitution

      Here’s my teaching fantasy, although it would have to be done at a school that was all white or Asian:

      Teach a course on the Constitution, where the grade is primarily determined by how well a student writes an essay on the following topic:

      Describe at least 8 ways in which the federal government violates its own constitution.

      Ron Paul would get an A+.

  • Luca

    “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.” – Mark Twain.

    All these liberal whack jobs can’t really believe that across all economic and geographical lines, Whites simply surpass blacks due to some magical segregated lack of attention applied only to black students. Do they actually believe that teachers across the country are apathetic and incompetent only where black kids are concerned? Do they have cameras in the classroom showing teachers lavishing attention on White and Asian kids and ignoring the blacks? How on earth do they dream up these concepts and arrive at these conclusions?

    They use these fantasy-based theories to ask for more money and perpetuate racial myths.

    If certain kids under-achieve what difference does it make what racial group they belong to? The facts of life dictate that not all kids are capable of A’s or B’s or even C’s.

    These black kids have inherent problems with culture, IQ and home life. Most would need a one-on-one teacher and part-time psychiatrist to make any advances at all.

    But let’s just blame it on the teachers, lack of funding and racism.

    leftists and their insane agendas simply know no bounds.

  • I read the whole thing. If you can look past some of the skullduggery, it’s a good read, full of good racial nuggets for those of us who are tuned in.

    Remember, one of the teachers involved in the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal referenced here admitted that she had to cheat because her black students were as “dumb as hell.” And that’s the point that Miss Blanchard is perhaps too scared to say, that because everybody blames everything on bad teachers, and therefore, teachers are living in a fish bowl, and since many of them have rooms full of “dumb as hell” NAM students, their only choice is to cheat, otherwise turn in bad scores and have it blamed on them, so they’ll be fired and replaced by a revolving door of Can’t Teach for America social justice dingbats.

  • JohnEngelman

    Black students do not suffer from poorly motivated teachers. Their teachers are highly motivated to pay their dues and transfer to white schools where students have the intelligence and the desire to learn, and where the teachers will not be mugged or robbed at gunpoint walking to their cars after school, or find that their cars have been vandalized or stolen.

    • Teachers unfortunate enough to be saddled with black students become unmotivated only after sufficient experience with their charges, unless the teachers themselves are black, in which case they start out unmotivated.

    • Bon, From the Land of Babble

      This is true for those of us who want to stay in the profession. We had to pay our dues, so to speak, until we could transfer out to better positions — this is where our seniority comes in, which the state is doing everything possible to end.

      Blacks complain that experienced White teachers flee “their” schools as soon as we can — well, YEAH — and then they’re “stuck” with younger, less experienced teachers, substitutes or TFAs. You see, we Whites can’t win! If we stay, we are automatically White Racists, if we leave, we are White Racists -the only solution is to GTFO of these hell holes as soon as possible and not look back. White teachers are the district’s gold and they know it — high work ethic, motivated, intelligent, etc.

      Geez, people have NO IDEA what these schools are really like!! YOU are blamed for everything and anything that goes wrong — fail students? Well YOU didn’t teach them correctly! Suspend out of control students? Nope. That’s been banned! So you must tolerate it. The turnover at these schools is incredible.

      I’m pretty tough, but I almost had a breakdown before I managed to escape to greener pastures.

      Bon

      • JohnEngelman

        When students were “taught to the tune of the hickory stick” they were polite and differential. By the time a juvenile delinquent is kicked out of school for the last time his backside should be covered with scars and scabs.

      • pcmustgo

        Actually, a Teach for America or NYC Learning Fellows (similar program) teacher wrote a book about this… about how he almost had a breakdown teaching these kids… about how tough the conditions are.

        • pcmustgo

          Teaching Fellows Program.

      • WR_the_realist

        Actually I have a pretty good idea of what the schools are really like. Which is why I don’t blame the teachers, but would certainly home school my kids.

  • Reason I bring this up is that Steve Sailer’s theory is that the WFS mentality exists for liberal SWPL whites to justify their subconscious dislike for blacks and Hispanics and their desire to keep their own kids out of NAM heavy schools by blaming the teachers. I think there’s a lot of truth to that, but I also know that these kinds of hustles usually have a practical ($$$$$) explanation behind them. White Mom in WDC below probably just filled in all the blanks for us.

  • sbuffalonative

    But between these two messages lies the unspoken logic that current, non-TFA teachers and schools are failing at the task of closing the achievement gap, through some combination of apathy or incompetence.

    The unspoken LOGIC is that race and IQ are genetic realities.

  • dd121

    It is impossible for me to understand how anybody could go into teaching these days. The cultural marxists who run the whole rotten mess always blame a lack of money and incompetence of the teachers for why the “gap doesn’t close”. Memo to liberals: it’s a biological impossibility.

    • sbuffalonative

      There are many naive true believers who think they can make a difference because they’re not like the racist teachers who came before them and didn’t value black students. The brainwashing runs deeps.

      • Bon, From the Land of Babble

        From what I’ve seen, it takes three to five days in an inner-city classroom for that bubble to burst. A colleague at an urban school told me the cops had to be called the first day of school to break up a massive fight — looked like the entire department showed up, some in RIOT GEAR + a helicopter.
        Wasn’t in the papers, as these things usually aren’t.

        Bon

        • dd121

          I’ve had teachers tell me that it takes about five years before the deep burnout sets in. And that’s in the white suburban schools.

        • pcmustgo

          I’ve known two white liberals who did teach for america/nyc teaching fellows program. One came out a race realist, the other just dropped out of the program within a few months.

          • Andy

            Well, perhaps Teach for America is a good thing then. Deposit 100 enthusiastic liberals, get back 50 race realists and 50 discouraged liberals? Sounds spiffy.

          • dukem1

            Very good point!

        • Andy

          There was an article – I don’t know if it was on here – about some black city where 25 teachers resigned after the first day and another 25 in the weeks that followed.

          • Puggg

            Yes it was here, and it involved St. Louis Public Schools.

    • Ella

      Many teachers do leave for corporate jobs because of behavioural problems among students and better pay. Teachers find educational or managerial positions within companies.

    • Andy

      No it’s not. It just involves those evil eugenics… you know, setting up our society so the smarter blacks have more kids than the dumber ones instead of the other way around.

  • Sheik Yerbouti

    All they are doing with this kind of crap is justifying segregation of schools by merit. Cramming dumb students in with exceptional students doesn’t boost the dumb ones. It marginalizes the exceptional ones and exposes them to the darker side of dumb students, violence.

    • Ella

      The brighter students have better access to score illicit drugs from the marginal students.

  • She mentions KIPP at the beginning.

    In December 2007, an AR commenter named Jill posted this about the fraud that is KIPP. I saved it in my personal AR comment hall of fame file. I’m going to re-post it because it does not seem like AR moved it over when it switched its CMS.

    ***

    Exactly! That’s what I think every time I read about some “miracle” after-school/summer school program that has managed to bring a select handful of poor blacks up to white standards through intensive remediation. Journalists and teachers rave about how they’ve finally found the key to educational equality, but never mention that the same effort applied to whites would have turned out college-level students and not just mediocre “average” students.

    I read an article a year ago about an experimental charter school KIPP academy, I think, that had increased the test scores of poor black 6th & 7th graders close to white average levels. I wish I had saved the link, but I remember the article quite well because it made me want to throw my laptop across the room. The journalist proudly recounted their class schedule:

    7am – full breakfast served to ALL students free of charge (thank you tax-payers!). Bacon, eggs, toast, orange juice, etc. No expense spared since the educators believed a heavy breakfast made the kids smarter.

    7:30 – 2:30 – regular school day with intensive focus on basic skills in reading, writing, math and science. Class sizes were small and the school had strict discipline requirements with mandated class participation, uniforms, etc. Trouble makers were kicked back to the public school system. School provided free lunch, of course.

    2:30 – 5:00 – mandated after school programs on campus. Worst students spent this time in one-on-one tutoring with teachers, better students did sports or art.

    5:00 – school-provided dinner in the cafeteria. Yup, you read that right! The educators didn’t trust the parents to feed the kids, and wanted to keep them on campus all day.

    Rest of the evening up to 8:30pm or so – SUPERVISED homework. All the kids had to sit at tables and do their homework under the watchful eyes of their teachers. The educators openly admitted that these kids would never do their homework if they weren’t forced to, and the parents wouldn’t make them do it either.

    The kids in this school ate all meals at the school free of charge during the week and only went home to sleep at night. Last, but not least, was SATURDAY school!! A half-day of intensive one-on-one tutoring with teachers and community volunteers, and free breakfast and lunch of course!

    The journalist admitted that this program was very expensive, but never mentioned that this program involved 3 to 4 times as much teaching time as a regular school. Plus, it was basically an orphanage without bedrooms.

    Rather than tweaking standard public schooling, it merely proved that the only dependable way to “close the achievement gap” was spending 4 times as much time and effort, and to take parental duties away from their families and raise the kids under intensive care! Any yet, this was clearly supposed to inspire whites to dump more money into this educational boondoggle.

    ***

    What we have found out since Jill wrote that comment is that KIPP has subtle ways to weed out real dummies, even though their admission process is supposed to be totally random. One of the big ways they get away with it is by making the pre-admission process so onerous and time consuming that only relatively ambitious parents and students endure it and lazy louts don’t, as a way to make sure that the blacks and Hispanics KIPP schools admit have at least a little something on the ball. And as Jill said above, the troublemakers and failures are dumped back onto the public school system.

    The end result is that better NAM middle school students get a whole lot of time and resources spent on them, and they get only close to the white average.

    We also found out in that certain documentary that I like to make fun of that the KIPP program co-founders were largely inspired by a black math teacher who stylized her lessons as rap lyrics. Wow.

    • dd121

      So what would happen if they took white students and applied that method on them? Would the gap reopen?

      • Intensive KIPP style methods applied apples to apples roughly equally not only reopens the gap, but extends it, from what little evidence there is. Don’t take that as gospel though, for the very small number of whites who have been able to receive KIPP style education.

  • IKantunderstand

    Ms. Blanchard, you are most probably White. Which would explain your completely inane article that never addresses the real problem: Blacks are mental dullards. Regardless of the talent, training, and fortitude of the teachers assigned to these mental defectives, there will NEVER EVER be any gains in their scores. The problem, Ms. Blanchard, is not with the teachers, it is with the inferior Black students. I sincerely hope, that although you penned this full of B.S. article, you did so only to preserve your status, and NOT because you actually believe this crap.

    • dd121

      Seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it. Wonder why the libs can’t see it.

  • joesolargenius

    I thought this story was excellently presented and her points well made, however I still believe the real problem with education is the educators union which is a recipient of lottery money. The Educators Union donated $50,000,000.00 to the democrats in 2008 and after they won the presidential election ,California school children all of a sudden got a lot smarter overnight. Local ,State and Federal Government jobs should not be the reward program for Democratic party supporters.The only reason to hire anyone is their ability and desire to do a good job and not their race,sex or political affiliations.
    Education,Healthcare , firefighting ,the military and Law enforcement should not be subject to affirmative action hiring standards.

    • Sick of it

      That’s not how modern hiring practices work. I’ve been told numerous times that I’m overqualified and once that I was flat out too smart for an entry level position. So…I’m so smart I’ll have to get a job in trash collection or ditch digging if I’m lucky?

    • Bon, From the Land of Babble

      I don’t know of any teachers’ union that is the recipient of lottery money, mine (UTLA, Los Angeles), certainly is not. The school district, however, DOES receive lottery money — but what it receives offsets state money i.e., it does NOT increase the district’s budget, but is a boon for the state.

      Bon

      • WR_the_realist

        Fortunately the lotteries are “regressive” in that predominately people from the lower classes play them. So it’s about the only way to get blacks to pay for even a small part of the expensive school systems they ruin.

      • joesolargenius

        I have to take your word for it Bon as your in that field and I am only an observer , however the fifty million had to come from somewhere and if it was from union dues then they are way too high.

  • borogirl54

    I always felt that Teach for America went after the wrong element. They should have went after retired scientists, engineers and mathematicians. These people know Math and Science better than a 23 year old recent graduate because they can show how practical math and science is.

    • Sick of it

      To be blunt, such people would be too intelligent and too advanced to teach kids. Most cannot connect with them. Heck, many have trouble teaching graduate level college courses due to their expertise.

      • borogirl54

        I once met a couple of retired engineers that wanted to teach math in the public schools but were stopped because they lacked a teaching credential. One ended up teaching in a private school.

        • Bon, From the Land of Babble

          So get a teaching credential.

          It is not difficult and a lot, if not all of it, can be done these days on-line. In some districts, like mine, if there is a shortage field, such as special Ed, science or math, the district will PAY for your classes and PAY your salary as you earn your teaching credential while teaching. I know a number of teachers who have done this after leaving engineering, accounting, banking careers.

          Bon

        • Sick of it

          Some can probably pull it off, just saying that I’ve known highly intelligent people in those fields who have a hard time talking down to people at a graduate level, let alone high school.

          • Beetlejuice

            I’d like to see them try to control a classroom full of unruly jr. high or high school students.

          • Sick of it

            Junior high is the worst. High school students aren’t so bad, unless you’re in a vibrant urban environment.

    • I have a Master’s Degree in chemical engineering and I wouldn’t do TFA work on a bet.

      • IstvanIN

        What would be the point? You’d have more success teaching arithmetic to a pig, and if the pig turned out to be dumb at least you’d have bacon.

      • borogirl54

        One thing about TFA is that young teachers come cheap. They get paid entry level pay. I have heard of teachers being laid off in cash strapped districts to hire TFA replacements.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    I have never seen one single TFA candidate who wasn’t struggling mightily with unruly students, indifferent school administrators, a hostile school environment and angry parents who accuse you of racism or prejudice if you try to discipline their out of control little thug.

    You can’t imagine the utter shock when these TFAs realize they’ve been lied to (takes about five days or fewer) — after which they’re crying at OUR doors asking what to do about all the problems they’re having in the classroom. The look on their faces is priceless after the arrogance of when they first start — after all, they’ve been told, that after five weeks of training, THEY ALONE will be able to reverse DECADES of “damage wrought by uncaring, racist teachers” who have kept these “poor deserving” minority students down.

    I hate to say it (actually I DON’T, I love it!!) — Schadenfreude

    I remember one pompous S⊕B who walked out about two weeks into the school year during the school day, left his class, got into his car, drove away and didn’t look back. Another haughty jerk from Harvard, no less, was beaten down after the first week. He struggled on for a few more days and when he didn’t show up at the teachers professional development the following week (where he was going to show us a few things, I’m sure) – I knew he was gone.

    From the article:

    I have no reason to doubt studies showing that TFA teachers are more effective—after all, they are recruited from a pool of the country’s hardest-working college students.

    Yeah, keep on believing that! That IQ doesn’t matter. That White Racist teachers have kept poor minority children down and that all they need is a “firm but gentle” hand to guide them to the heights of academia. Ha! Ha!!

    Even your leader and guru is a fraud:

    Strong schools can withstand the turnover of their teachers, said Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach for America. The strongest schools develop their teachers tremendously so they become great in the classroom even in their first and second years.

    Can you imagine that a “teacher” who graduated college in June, and after five weeks of PC indoctrination, is already “a great teacher” by September?

    But then NONE of this is about education, is it? It is about privatizing public schools and turning them over to unqualified, new, PC- indoctrinated, non-union teachers with five weeks of training who will work long hours for slave waves and be a willing part of obamacare’s exchange.

    AFAIC: Let ‘em. We older, experienced teachers are retiring in droves. We’ve been brow beaten by the education system for years that WE are failing the children.

    It’s time to let someone else take on the burden of closing the achievement gap and I can’t think of a better organization take on this honor than TFA.

    Rotsa Ruck, Suckers!!

    Bon

    • Sick of it

      I don’t like the way they talk about older teachers either, as older teachers remember when the curriculum was more demanding AND OFTEN TEACH THEIR STUDENTS ACCORDINGLY. I was lucky to have a small number of very good, very old school teachers who did not bend in the slightest when it came to the basics. Their demands improved me in a lot of ways. I have relatives who are teachers and they put a LOT of effort into each and every student, regardless of how hard it is to overcome certain natural problems.

      • Bon, From the Land of Babble

        A quick comparison of textbooks will tell you everything you need to know about the demise of American education.

        I collect textbooks, some going back to the 20s and 30s, literature books in particular. All are tomes with small, fine, closely spaced print and lines with tissue-paper like pages — to cram more content into the book. The reading level is high, the assignments, written, thought-provoking, and difficult. Few to no pictures.

        Just what you’d expect for a population whose average IQ is 100.

        Look at the textbooks now! Large print, 3rd-grade level writing, numerous large photos on each page, blacks feature prominently and over-represented in the sciences, math and literature. Low on subject matter, high on indoctrination and White-hatred. The history books are particularly specious — emphasis on rewritten, PC-based history featuring Whites as genocidal, evil colonists and Indians as gaia-loving, peaceful, intelligent paragons of virtue.

        And so on.

        What the public doesn’t know — what White taxpayers don’t know about WHERE and HOW their money is being spent on indoctrinating non-White students to dehumanize and hate them.

        And, it’s pervasive throughout the entire K-12 curriculum.

        Bon

        • Sick of it

          I had textbooks like the older type in the gifted program.

          • Andy

            We got rid of our gifted program because it denied kids “equal access” to a “high-quality, challenging curriculum”. Now they get equal access to a low-quality, non-challenging one.

          • pcmustgo

            I grew up in an all-white school district that similarly focused all the attention and money on the low achievers.

          • Ella

            We still have gifted programs in our schools, and most parents fight for these slots to prevent inadequate education from the average level classes, which are loaded with behavioural problems and “dumbing down” material. Advanced classes keep smart students from being bored who may want to drop out to obtain a GED. This “feel good” but illiterate education smells of your narcissistic liberals.

          • Sick of it

            VERY non-challenging. My gifted classes were the only ones that kept me awake a lot of the time.

    • Sharps Rifle

      You echo my comments, so at least I know I’m not just spitting into the wind.

    • WR_the_realist

      I’d say that Jared Taylor’s best covert program to convert liberal white college students into race realists is working as planned. Way to go, Jared! Founding American Renaissance was good but creating Teach for America was sheer genius.

  • Tarczan

    Wouldn’t it be easier to just hire all darkies as teachers and ignore the cheating? We could declare victory, and allow the young, talented blacks to move on to their government jobs.

    • dd121

      That would be putting the stamp of approval on the Big Lie the cultural marxists have been cramming down our throats for the past 60 years.

      • Andy

        I can just imagine this conversation twenty years ago with “the past 40 years”. I was in diapers then, but I feel awful for the people who’ve watched the decades pass. I hope it never reaches 80.

        The beautiful headlines of the future:

        “100 Years Later, King’s Dream Still Not Achieved”

        “The Legacy of Slavery Cannot Be Ended with Money: $400 Trillion Reparation Does Not Negate 400 Years of Oppression”

        “Check Your Privilege: How Your ‘Private’ Thoughts Affect Children of Color”

        Or, more likely,

        “‘No ser humano es ilegal!’: Como la Raza Cosmica reconquisto su pais”

  • Sick of it

    Take what you just said with the lie that they want more male teachers…apparently not.

  • Evette Coutier

    The TFA is what happens when pseudo-science meets political pandering. If the educational community would look to actual science, and to other nations who score at the top of student achievement, they might start doing a good job teaching our kids.

    • Mergatroyd

      What is it they’re not teaching to kids who are dumb as rocks? How do you teach math to students with low IQs who will never “get” math, including addition and subtraction, let along fractions?

      Black average IQ = 80
      White average IQ = 100

      • Andy

        In general white kids don’t know anything either. A brilliant girl I know (IQ at least 150, SATs all in the 700s) could not find China on a map, asked if the Middle East was in Africa, and wasn’t sure whether sound traveled in waves. She was certainly capable of learning these things. They just weren’t taught. She spent plenty of time writing free verse and studying the Civil Rights Movement, though.

        • WR_the_realist

          The greatest tragedy of our current educational system is not that it isn’t teaching the ineducable. It’s how the political correctness and dumbing down to keep blacks from looking too bad has made education a farce for the white students.

        • pcmustgo

          Lots of high achieving kids, especially Asians, don’t bother learning anything they are not graded on and “won’t be on the test”. They have no true love of learning.

        • Brian

          Her IQ was at least 150, and she was this ignorant? I knew these things you mention at the age of 8, from trips to the public library. People with high IQ absorb things outside of a classroom.

          • Andy

            Yes. She knows a lot about some things – she could probably write biographies of certain English monarchs without doing any research, and I don’t think I’ve ever known her to make a spelling mistake – but she has never been interested in either geography or science, and has never taken it upon herself to study them. She read plenty when she was young, too. But, like most girls, she read all fiction.

  • dumbfuckdemocrats

    After 50 years of failure, all they can do is come up with the same old recycled excuses.

    • They need more money, even though the US spends more per-student than any other nation in the world…

      Dey gots ta be haben mo money; gnome sayin?

      De raciss cracka teachas don’t care about black students, and black students be needen dem some mo role models ob black teachas. We gots ta be hirin mo black teachas who can’t read, so as ta be teachen dem kids; gnome sayin?

      We needs ta be haben mo computers in de classes so dem kids can be doin de smart tings and “stuff” wif dem puters in de claffrooms and “stuff”. We gots ta be haben dese shiny tings; gnome sayin?

      Gnome sayin?

      …Do you know what I am saying?

  • OhWow

    We need to start saying this more to take the edge off of it and thrust it into mainstream discussion: intelligence is genetic and varies according to race. There are obviously exceptions but on average it goes asians, whites, hispanics, blacks.

  • The Final Solution

    American exceptionalism – from the whitest and brightest to the darkest and dumbest within a generation.

    • dd121

      I’ve had Superintendents tell me privately that the schools in the white suburbs do an excellent job until they hit about 25-30% black. At that point the schools have to be dumbed down or almost all the blacks will fail.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    The teaching profession has been considerably dumbed down. I am shocked by the level of what passes for a college education these days — teachers with poor writing, grammar and computing skills. Most of the new ones in my district come from the local state college that admits anyone — they have college fairs right on our high school campus and anyone who wants to enroll CAN and DOES (because for them it’s FREE).

    The old, rigorous, NTE subject tests are no longer given (because blacks and browns couldn’t pass them); they’re now called “Praxis” tests and from what I’ve seen a moron could pass them — heavy on pedagogy light on subject matter knowledge — and there are a LOT of morons entering the teaching profession now. They come fully loaded up with PC – indoctrination, fantasies of egalitarianism, White-hatred, Che and Mao worship and, woefully inadequate in basic skills. As an older teacher told me quietly, “None are worth a damn.”

    I started at 23, AFTER I received a college degree — secondary teachers do not major in education; we major in math, English, biology, etc. and THEN get a teaching credential which at one time included student teaching.

    At my first job was told “NO students allowed in the copy room!!” asked “where my teacher was” and to “get out of the office” (because I was mistaken for a student). I felt the high school students were worlds beneath me in age and education — I remember one asking if the same textbooks were used “back in the dark ages” when I was in high school!!

    Well, enough. As I’ve always said “What the public doesn’t know!” — what the public doesn’t know about what goes on behind the chain-link prison-like fence and closed steel classroom doors. But everyone’s an expert! No one ever hears OUR side of it, only the public’s side, or the administration’s side, or the kid’s side or the theorists’ side — which is that ALL school failure is the fault of teachers.

    It’s far past time OUR side was aired.

    Bon

    • Andy

      I wish I could vote you up more than once. I wanted to pull out my hair in education classes and teaching fieldwork. Elementary teachers and “pre-service teachers” cannot write, spell, or do math at an upper-elementary level. My literacy professor could not use basic punctuation correctly. Of the six teachers I’ve worked with, one could write well enough that her examples weren’t mis-teaching kids. She just retired.

      They should be spending education classes making sure education students can read and write at at least a middle school level, do arithmetic without too much trouble, and know the Revolutionary War from the Civil. Instead, we hear about the “six facets of understanding”, the difference between “big ideas”, “understandings”, “facts”, and “skills”, and “culturally responsive teaching”. And the most galling part is the professors actually think the junk they’re teaching us is authoritative! They refer to our poorly-written, internally-inconsistent texts like they’re the Good Book.

      “Shouldn’t an American History class say something about the Great Depression?”

      “Oh, no, Andy! We can’t think like that! That’s coverage! That’s one of the Twin Sins of Traditional Design Wiggins and McTighe talk about!”

      Nope. Better find some way to teach kids about “People Interact with Their Environment” or “Culture and Cultural Change”.

      • John Engelman and I can argue all week long about the Great Depression, and the current crop of students will never understand any of what we discuss. This is a complete pity!

    • Tarczan

      Bon- I enjoy your comments, give us a hint as to where and what you teach.

      • Bon, From the Land of Babble

        Thank you for the kind words.

        I work in Los Angeles, for the LAUSD. I’m sure you understand why I can’t divulge any further information.

        Regards,

        Bon

    • Ella

      I studied British literature in high school. Because of the course, I begin to really enjoy learning. How can you teach these classics when you insult the White male author who may have expressed morals and Christian values? The Left are such hypocrites. Is it so hard to require 4 years of math, literature/grammar, and science in public schools to gain better skills in order to compete among global economies?

    • robinbishop34

      You should write a book.

      • Bon, From the Land of Babble

        Only after I put a lot of distance between myself and the school district I work for.
        Yesterday, it was announced that the teachers pension fund I’ve been forced to pay into for years has twice the unfunded liability that they’d told us a few months ago.

        I’ve assumed for years that it was already gone. Makes it easier when I DO write my book; they won’t be able to hold back my pension because there isn’t one. I plan to name names and there will be no escape for the guilty.

        Bon

        • WR_the_realist

          Right now there are two types of workers in America. Private sector workers who know they don’t have a pension and public sector workers who only think they do.

    • FransSusan

      Bon, The teaching profession has also been destroyed by affirmative action. The colleges hire too many affirmative action “professors” who aren’t qualified, and the public schools do the same. It’s a horror story. Of course there are still some great teachers, but not enough of them.

  • Diamond_Lil

    All of this nonsense about closing the achievement gap for the darkies is only about bringing the white children down so the darkies don’t look so bad.

    • SFLBIB

      “It’s easier to make a dumb, pretty girl smart than it is to make a smart, ugly girl pretty.” — Max Schulma, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis

  • pcmustgo

    What about Puerto Rican schools, given that they are part black? I have heard similar inner city teachers say exactly what you just said, that any other groups besides blacks, including Latinos, would have wanted to learn. Another told me the Latino parents push the kids hard and have an immigrant work ethic, really want the kids to do better than them, etc.

  • Jesse_from_Sweden

    Not really, in the african savannah there is instead a big advantage in being able to run faster than everyone else.

    And let’s not forget, in evolution the winner isn’t necessarily the one who is best at survival, but the one who is best at getting the most offspring.

    So ironically, in the race of evolution, the real winner is the black baby-daddies who got 26 kids with 21 different moms.
    A evolutionary strategy of getting lots of kids and hoping a few of them survives, instead of the more white strategy of getting a few kids and instead investing a lot in them to get a high survival chance for them.
    But the current “cuckoo” strategy of getting lots of kids and letting someone else take care of them (the generous welfare systems set up by whites) is a very effective winning strategy when it comes to passing on your genes to the next generation.

    • YngveKlezmer

      As long as we White racial realists have effectively seceded from The United States of Obamaca before these Bantus are other non-White third world rabble take over, we will survive.

  • Garrett Brown

    Your attempt at a witty retort doesn’t really make much sense at all but I think I speak for him as well as myself in saying no, they can just go back to where they came from.

  • Fr. John+

    As a veteran of teaching at the collegiate level, and my spouse teaching at the Public Schools, we finally realized, you CANNOT make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but also, YOU SHOULDN’T even CARE that they ARE sow’s ears! We are so done with any compassion for non-whites, because they continally verify the truth of Jer. 13:23. Consistently. Over the DECADES. And, as Yankees, we now see, ‘The South was Right.’ Especially after two terms of the Obamanation. Put a fork in it… it’s done.

    • OlderWoman

      The South was a great place to grow up in back in the 50’s and 60’s. Blacks knew their place. And we had beautiful and safe neighborhoods. The school I attended was old but it was well-cared for. However, the brand spanking new brick school with modern features in the black community was completely destroyed in a matter of years. I am grateful that I attended all white schools with all white staff.

      Now that town is nearly 80% black. I googled a street view of my neighborhood…it looks like a bomb hit it. The downtown area looks like a ghetto.

  • At some point, they can’t be babied and monitored nearly 24/7 anymore. Why won’t someone with an incentive to do so, like the teachers’ unions, do a follow-up on these charter fools to see how they turned out as adults? I have no clue, but Boy Guggenheim did a three years later on two of his subjects, the black boy in Washington D.C. and the white girl in the Silicon Valley, the former, now 13, is mostly now concerned with basketball, and the latter, now 16, is doing alright in spite of (or maybe because of) having to go to her local public high school with all its evil tracking.

  • jeffaral

    Never forget whom to blame: the people who brought the blacks, and continue to bring the new Mexican slaves. I mean the Christian conservative elites are the real culprits.

  • JJCULLEN

    Couldn’t pay me enough to teach or drive a school bus. Just seeing these poorly dressed and groomed (children) is a disgrace……

  • Ella

    I think he knows that the core curriculum STINKS!! NEC did a study that I researched. “NEC found that American students spent only about 41 percent of the school day on basic academics. Their schedules jammed with course work in self-esteem, personal
    safety, AIDS education, family life, consumer training, driver’s ed, holistic health, and gym, the typical American high school student spends only 1,460 hours on subjects like math, science, and history during their four years in high schools.”
    Comparing other countries to the US academics:
    1. Germany 3,528 hours
    2. Japan 3,170
    3. France 3,280
    Teachers from other countries give 3X’s much more homework than the US teachers assign.
    If the parent is functionally illiterate and/or works many hours being single, divorced or poor, he or she is not available to help or make the child to complete their hmwk. exercises. Now you can see how much indoctrination that our US students receive. Scary!!

    • FransSusan

      Geez! How much could there possibly be to study about AIDS!!?? It’s easy to prevent. Just don’t have sex with someone who has it and/or don’t use needles! Imagine all the taxpayer dollars that have been wasted on AIDS education—a lifestyle disease!

      • WR_the_realist

        Frankly I can’t think of a transmissible disease that is easier to avoid catching than AIDS. I have far more reasons to worry about catching dengue.

  • lloydsauvante

    Welcome this bit of fresh air, and the comments on this thread. It is appalling to me that some of the writers here at Atlantic can be so off-base to the left and the commenters so dead-on to the realistic side side of things. I am sure that some of us are sufficiently articulate to write articles fit for the Atlantic to publish. Why so much leftist claptrap, such as the Le Pen article?

    • David Ashton

      Many editors and some owners of the “free” press are too politically “correct”. In major publishing houses the MS readers are often died-in-the-wool “feminists”. Markets outside the USA have formal and informal restrictions against “race realism”. The more articulate our case, the more reluctant some editors in Britain, for instance, would be to print it. They only want a caricature of violent stupidity or of neo-nazi evil to feature when it suits them.

  • OlderWoman

    Simon and Garfunkel probably voted for obama.

  • arete5000

    bravo…

  • FransSusan

    Dear gawd, that’s a horror story!

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Correct!

    Today, the most widely used history textbook in U.S. public schools is A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn.

    The influence of avowed Marxist, Howard Zinn (“I stand to the left of Mao”), on textbooks and throughout the curricula in American schools cannot be underestimated.

    Bon

  • WR_the_realist

    I do not deny that some southerners were fighting for slavery. But I am saying that many of them were not, particularly their best general. Certainly the majority of white southerners who did not own slaves had no particular interest in maintaining a practice that undercut white labor.