I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

This Is Your Brain On TFA

I often get the sense that something happens to the brains of people who do their two years or less at Teach For America and then, rather than continue to teach, go on to "stay in education" as "leaders." Maybe their self-granted halos are a little too tight.

Take Newark State Superintendent Cami Anderson:

So, as a college student, I organized a group of female athletes to challenge the university on the basis of gender inequity. We had amazing mentors -- my aunt who was a university employee and is a sports enthusiast, the Title IX officer for the University of California, a free-lance journalist who knew a lot about the Title IX law and movement. After a thoroughly-researched, public letter threatening a lawsuit was distributed far and wide, dozens of meetings, and several news stories -- the university agreed to massive changes. Female and male sports budgets merged, across all sports, and head coaches were mandated to ensure equity. Literally, overnight, we bought three new boats, moved in to share the men's boat house, gained access to the best weight rooms at the university, and began to fly -- instead of driving 15 hours -- to races.
As Superintendent of Newark Public Schools (NPS), I am no stranger to controversy and feel many of the dynamics I experienced in my Title IX days -- and throughout my life as an activist -- are at play in the fight for educational equity (in Newark and nationally). Vilifying the leader is a way of discrediting them and preventing them from earning the trust they need to lead. Fear, intimidation, and gender politics are alive and well. More people benefit from a broken public education system than may otherwise be obvious including people who should be "natural allies" for change. In the face of abject failure, even mediocrity is celebrated and challenging that is difficult. It is wildly unpopular to say what we have been doing is failing and even more controversial to make bold proposals that challenge sacred cows -- and adult interests embedded in the status quo.
Folks, there's no bigger fan of Title IX than yours truly. I say that as the uncle and brother of some outstanding college athletes who happen to be women. Women deserve all the protections and entitlements and privileges that have been traditionally reserved for men.

But let's recap:

Apparently, the following acts are exemplars of moral courage:

All of these acts are so selfless, so noble, so righteous indeed that they deserve a public self-lauding -- one where the author can tell us all about her lonely, arduous crusade at her extremely elite college to get more money for her crew team so she could fly to her meets rather than drive.

Take a sec to let that sink in...

Anderson really should be more careful: she just might re-injure herself, what with all the contorting she's doing to pat herself on the back.

Two peas in a pod.


Unknown said...

She's using Carl Rove's strategy to turn the opposition's argument around an use it to attack.

P. Grunther said...

THANK YOU for addressing that disgustingly self-serving rant of hers in the Huffington Post. I truly felt nauseated when I finished reading it. I'm picturing a future remake of Godzilla with Cami in the title role and Newark filling in for Tokyo...let's find a way to stop this monster before she totally destroys a city that has already had its share of hardship!

Tom Hoffman said...

Apparently throwing money at women's sports works, but throwing money at urban public schools does not?