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Edwatch: Teach for America

Organization Name: Teach for America
Company Line: Teach for America recruits outstanding recent college graduates from all backgrounds and career interests to commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools. We provide the training and ongoing support necessary to ensure their success as teachers in low-income communities. Our mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting our nation's most promising future leaders in the effort.
Bottom Line: Teach for America is an elitist organization that recruits non-teachers to educate America's most vulnerable students at a premium price. Research shows that the program does harm to children, does not close the achievement gap as claimed, and costs taxpayers millions. Founder Wendy Kopp has no education training or expertise, but she is extremely effective at asking very rich people, corporations, and the federal government for millions of dollars and getting it. Teach for America perpetuates the myth that anyone with a college degree is a teacher. It is a recruiting and placement service. Until 2011, eligibility requirements stipulated that education majors and licensed teachers were prohibited from joining. TFA has gone to great expense to market the company as the “peace corps” of teaching. It is not. Its placements are not teachers and not volunteers. Recruits agree to teach for two years and then move on to a real career. In addition to a regular teacher's salary, TFA placements are given two $5,000 awards to pay for college expenses. The awards are provided by the federal government through Americorps, whose funding is appropriated to aid volunteer organizations in America's poorest communities. An exception has be made for TFA. TFA “teachers” are given preferable access to teaching jobs over regular teachers especially in public charter schools funded by Gates and Broad. TFA hires highly paid administrators, who also are not educators, to “coach” and assist its placements.
Year Established: 1990
Organization Type: Nonprofit
Major Donors: Joyce Foundation, Wachovia Corporation, Visa Inc., U.S. Department Of Education, State Farm, Robertson Foundation, Robert Steel, C.D. Spangler Foundation, Toni Rembe And Arthur Rock, Rainwater Charitable Funds, Quail Hollow Championship And Champions For Education, NewSchools Venture Fund, New York City Department Of Education, James And Marsha McCormick, Sue And Steve Mandel, Melanie And Richard Lundquist, Goldman, Sachs & Co., Glenview Capital, Doris & Donald Fisher Fund, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Carnegie Corporation Of New York, The Broad Foundation, Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation, The Arnold Family Foundation, Amgen Foundation, AmeriCorps
Where the Money Goes
990 Tax Documents:
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