Where Have All the Black Teachers Gone?

A big new study finds having just one Black teacher makes it far more likely that Black students will remain in school. But there’s a problem. The percentage of Black teachers, particularly in urban areas, has been sinking like a stone. Co-host Jack Schneider climbs into the *time machine* (twice!) to give us an historical perspective. Special guest Terrenda White explains the role that education reform has played in reducing the number of Black teachers, and why recruiting Black students to be future teachers is such a challenge when school can feel a lot like jail. It’s Have You Heard #17! Full transcript available here.

TFA’s Diversity Dilemma

EduShyster’s D-list reformer gives TFA props for diversifying—but says the organization still treats corps members like they come from privilege  

By *The 49er*
tfa diverseI have a confession to make: I was a Teach for America (TFA) teacher (or corps member as TFA calls its teachers, since just plain teacher is considerably less sexy). While that gives me major points among the reform crowd, it taints my image among many non-TFA educators. While there are many criticisms of TFA that I happen to agree with, I give TFA credit for working to improve as an organization. This week TFA announced that it has made significant strides in increasing the diversity of its corps. I salute them for addressing the lack of teachers who come from communities of color—but the fat lady hasn’t quite sung on this play yet. Continue reading →

Teacher Under Construction

Stephanie Rivera talks teacher prep, the importance of a diverse teaching force and why, if you want her to stop teaching, you’ll have to carry her out of her classroom…

Stephanie 1Edushyster: You’re about to begin your student teaching through the teacher prep program at Rutgers. Since we know for a fact that teacher prep is useless, why did you choose this particular path?

Stephanie Rivera: I don’t think that teacher prep programs are useless. In fact I’d argue that they do a much better job preparing us to be in the classroom than some of the alternatives that are out there. I’ll be spending the fall student teaching, then in the spring I’ll be working on a community project with a school in New Brunswick. I’ll be helping students do research and acquire the skills to bring about change in their community. Continue reading →

Bad Medicine

The Obama administration prescribes pay-for-performance for doctors. What could possibly go wrong?

bad medicine 3Do you ever feel as though reading one more word about our failed and failing public schools will cause your head to pop off of its very brain stem and spin wildly in the air before reattaching itself at an angle most askew? That is what is known as a medical condition, reader, which is why I am prescribing for you an immediate treatment course consisting of a winebox, bed rest and a change of scenery. Today’s topic: health carespecifically the Obama administration’s brilliant new policy of rewarding the excellence of doctors and hospitals through an innovative approach called *pay for performance.* What could possibly go wrong? Continue reading →

Bottom of the Barrel

Plumbing the depths of elite disdain

First off, let’s get this straight: Arne Duncan (Harvard ’87) did not say that the majority of American teachers come from the *bottom of the barrel.* What he actually said was that “In the United States, a significant proportion of new teachers come from the bottom third of their college class”—which is completely different. For one thing, there is no mention of barrels in that statement. So why did so many teachers hear Duncan talking down to them—in the bottom of their barrel? Simple, reader—and by *simple* I am referring to you. You see, the barrel’s bottom is an enormous place, and shooting into it an elite sport as beloved as the hunting of the pheasant.  Continue reading →