Wednesday, May 31, 2006

How I Joined Teach for America—and Got Sued for $20 Million

This article is a couple years old, but its worth reading. A year in the life of a new DC public school teacher at Emery Elementary School.

[Hat tip: DC Teaching Fellow]

UPDATE: To answer the anonymous commenter in the comment section:

This article is very old news.

Which is why I pointed out it was a couple of years old.

Why bring it up now?

Because it was one teachers experience with TFA and DCPS and, from following the District's public school system for a few years, I suspect that it (unfortunately) still reflects the norm for certain DCPS schools.

How is it relevant?

Well, interestingly enough a new study has just been released that reflect some of the exact same issues the author wrote about.


Anonymous said...

This article is very old news. Why bring it up now? How is it relevant?

Anonymous said...

Many first year teachers face the same challenges that Mr. Kaplowitz faces and yet, overcomes them. Because he chose to give up rather than recognize his own deficits as an instructional leader, because he was unable to realize that he and the administration are actually on the same side, he left behind classrooms full of kids who needed his guidance. He needs to grow a set, basically.

Anonymous said...

To Anon (5:02 PM):

Did we read the same article? Because I must have missed the part where the administration was on his side.

The version I read suggested that the administration played little role in helping a novice teacher maintain order in his classroom. It also appeared to undermine the scholastic
standards he tried to set, and provided no guidance in the face of chronic discipline problems and their parents. In fact, it comes across as actively hostile towards Mr. Kaplowitz and his idealistic, though perhaps misguided, efforts.

Clearly Mr. Kaplowitz's is a one-sided account. Nonetheless, if Ms. Savoy - the former principal - were to write a rebuttal, then count me among the ready audience who'd be interested in reading it.