This is not about going after idealistic young people who give Teach for America a try. But the fact is that the organization is being used to undermine and corporatize public education, and that makes this bad news.
That’s one word to describe the campaign finance report for Teach for America–Twin Cities employee Crystal Brakke. Brakke is one of nine candidates gunning for three open seats on the Richfield, Minnesota school board, and if she wins, she will have heavy hitters like venture capitalist and TFA board member Arthur Rock to thank…
In 2014, the free-flowing money from the likes of Rock, Michael Bloomberg, and charter school champion and Oxycontin heir Jonathan Sackler was not enough to tip Minneapolis’ board into a solidly pro-reform camp. One candidate whose campaign benefited from the money, Don Samuels, won, while the other candidate, Iris Altamirano, did not.
Now, the big money is back, for a very local school board race, and TFA is the tie that binds all of this together…
To Brakke’s credit, she has been a Richfield resident for years. And, she’s not in this alone. Another fellow TFA alum, Paula Cole, is also running for a spot on Richfield’s school board.
(Bright Light Small City)
Brakke and Cole both won.
Comment below fold.
From Eric Ferguson: I helped both candidates, and I wouldn’t have if they were going to pursue an education “reform” agenda. Neither gave any indication of wanting to replace professional teachers with alternative licensure, of opposing the right of teachers to organize, or of wanting to replace public schools with charters. I have nothing good to say about Michelle “Cheater” Rhee or the wealthy profiteers of the charter school movement, but I found nothing objectionable about these candidates. If they move to replace the real teachers or to replace the neighborhood schools, they will immediately lose my support. If anyone wants to watch how they do their jobs, good. As I said when pleading with readers to pay attention in odd-numbered years, we should pay more attention to local elections and elected officials.
From Dan: Eric, I hope you didn’t help Donald Trump or Ben Carson too.