Top 10 Reasons to Join Teach For America

Did you miss the last application deadline for Teach for America? Fret not, young reader—you still have three more weeks before the next and final deadline to join the 2014 corps.

By Jay Saper, TFA reject

TFA reject Jay Saper with AFT president Randi Weingarten.

1. Teach for America saves taxpayers a fortune. Let’s face it: ending poverty in this country would cost a fortune. That’s why instead of focusing on what we don’t have—say, a place to sleep for all of our children—TFA aims its laser of excellence on what we have plenty of: lazy teachers who confess to only working half-time and should be displaced. Think about it. The federal government would have to spend untold billions to deal seriously with poverty and its ills. Instead, taxpayers are only on the hook for the hundreds of millions that TFA gets to remind us that poverty is merely an excuse.

2. Teach for America makes teaching chill. Too many of our public schools are stuffed with educators who not only produce low standardized test scores but may even believe in some measure of human beings beyond numbers. That’s why we owe Teach for America a big thanks for making teaching chill by filling the ranks of the teaching profession with students from the country’s most pretentious universities, who excel at tests and thus have complete faith in their totalizing worth.What’s more, these chill new TFA recruits have what it takes to keep their cool as the organization achieves its ambitious growth goals in regions facing massive layoffs and public school closures.

3. Teach for America is growing the next generation of researchers. The organization believes in *independent research to evaluate our impact and promote continuous improvement.* Countless studies have been conducted and continue to prove the effectiveness of the program. Since these results are critical to garnering major donations, it is essential they are produced by unbiased researchers with advanced skills in manipulating data. By encouraging corps members during institute to change student scores to ensure no student fails and intimidating corps members from ever filling out a survey honestly until they have completed their corps experience, Teach for America guarantees Mathematica will have a long line of ethically compromised researchers from which to draw upon to complete future studies. 

4. Teach for America is producing the corps members of tomorrow today. With enrollment in teacher preparation programs across the country plummeting, TFA understands the fierce urgency of producing the corps members of tomorrow today. Be sure to stop by the TFA store to choose from an array of One Day gear for your mini-CM. Of course, you’ll want to plan a TFA wedding before the mini-CMs arrive… 

5. Teach for America supports a robust economy. For too long, this country approached education as a jobs program for adults. Now, thanks to the education reform movement and organizations like Teach for America, education is quickly becoming a jobs program for elitesTFA’s operating budget of hundreds of millions of dollars doesn’t go to under-resourced schools but to a far more urgent cause: supporting the jobs of thousands of privileged Americans. Meanwhile, TFA’s friendly relationships with blue chips ensures that profits trickle down to support the people who need it most and help us reach One Day.

6. Teach for America is making compliance the new rebellion. Remember back in the day when kids used to rebel? No more. Today TFA is leading the way in rebranding compliance as the new rebellion. New corps members are welcomed to Summer Institute with the message that *compliance leads to freedom* and *compliance is freedom.* And while the word *compliance* never appears in any formal TFA training materials, staff are encouraged to follow their own discretion in using whatever terminology they choose—as long as said terminology complies with the need to convey the importance of *compliance.*

7. Teach for America is liberating teacher preparation. It was the Fidel Castro-approved radical Paolo Freire who argued that teacher preparation *should go beyond the technical preparation of teachers and be rooted in the ethical formation both of selves and of history.* In other words, it’s time to bring back the very pail-filling, *banking model* of education that Freire rejected. And who better to lead the way than TFA with its partnership with the Relay Graduate School of Education and emphasis on Teaching like a Champion? In fact, what better setting for a speech by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on the *civil rights challenge of our time* than the TFA-staffed Freire Charter School in Philadephia?

8. Teach for America strengthens national defense. With income inequality rapidly reaching unsustainable levels, it’s only a matter of time before something blows. But not if Teach for America can help it. TFA *gets* that realizing true educational equity would require a massive shift in the power structure of America that would undoubtedly damage the opportunities of current elites to continue their honorable and selfless leadership. Hence the use of social justice lingo for a cause that actually perpetuates the survival of the elitist. Meanwhile the organization has been remarkably successful at decreasing civic engagement levels for those who finish their corps experience, compared to the losers who drop out early or aren’t excellent enough to enroll in the first place.

9. Teach for America helps the war tax resistance movement. Teach for America brought in more than $300 million last year—but didn’t contribute a dime to federal coffers. In other words, by refusing to file federal taxes, TFA is making a bold commitment to stand in solidarity with those opposed to US military aggression around the world.

10. Teach for America is building Kool-Aid’s market share w/in the coveted youth market. Teach for America has built a multiracial coalition of people who have developed a taste for what corps members call Kool-Aid. In fact, many corps members have developed such a thirst for the stuff that merely drinking it is no longer enough. As one corps member recently shared: “Sometimes we’re fed the Kool-Aid directly through an IV.”

Jay Saper was a 2013 Teach for America corps member in Philadelphia who was fired after speaking out against school budget cuts in the City of Brotherly Love . According to official TFA documents, *Jay showed a deep passion for the Philadelphia community and value of student activism but could not address its connection to his pedagogical aspirations for his students and closing the achievement gap.*

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  1. “TFA-staffed Freire Charter School in Philadephia”

    You made that up, didn’t you? Please tell me you did? Cripes, what wine box should I go drown in?

  2. Ugh. Here goes my broken record. First rule of satire: stay in character!

    When you call universities “pretentious,” for example, you totally collapse the point of using irony as the ostensible vehicle of your list. The critique then falls flat and devolves into–dare I say–pretentious whining. Imagine if Colbert stopped half way through a segment and dropped a “no, but honestly” (an earnest one); it would totally blunt the cutting edge that satire represents as a form of critique. The above reads about as humorously as a teenager sarcastically “thanking” his parents for an oppressively long list of chores. Write satire, or write an op-ed.

    C’mon, ‘shyster…

  3. “Jay showed a deep passion for the Philadelphia community and value of student activism but could not address its connection to his pedagogical aspirations for his students and closing the achievement gap.”

    TFA Euphemism to English Translation:

    “Jay was a pain in the — who was more interested in causing a stink than being a teacher.”

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