Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Its Darling-Hammond vs. Klien

The Opinion of Teach for America. Note, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has been a close associate of Teach for America.
Teach For America suggests it’s Darling-Hammond vs. Klein

by Elizabeth Green
In case you were not fully convinced, it appears that, yes, Teach For America is flexing its muscle to influence Barack Obama’s Secretary of Education pick. The organization is concerned about the possibility that Stanford professor Linda Darling-Hammond, who has criticized TFA and is chairing Obama’s education policy committee, could get a prominent role in the Obama administration.

In a mass e-mail today, Teach For America urged alumni to “stay on top of about [sic] what is happening and not happening regarding education reform at the national and local levels.” The e-mail (pasted below) also directed them to the Web site of TFA’s new political group, Leadership for Education Equity, where alumni are invited to post comments on several Web sites (including this one), saying, “Decision makers do watch online reactions.” We hope so!


Here’s the e-mail, after the jump:

Dear [Redacted],

Happy Thanksgiving! As you’re all relaxing and celebrating with friends and family this long weekend, you’ll undoubtedly discuss the local and national politics of the day. Toward that end, I want to encourage all of you to check out LEE (www.educationalequity.org), our 501c4 sister organization (Leadership for Education Equity) that supports Teach For America alumni interested in political engagement and elected office.

As alumni and education reformers generally (regardless of our sector or political affiliation), we must stay on top of about what is happening and not happening regarding education reform at the national and local levels; I truly believe LEE is synthesizing this information better than any other source out there. I especially want to encourage all of you to read the article entitled: Wendy Kopp touted for Obama Cabinet and to share with your fellow alumni your perspectives on how President Elect Obama should staff and structure his education team.

If you haven’t been on the site in a while (or yet), you can sign up easily and/or use the “Forgot Password” function to change your password or be reminded of your username.

Following on the November 15 New York City alumni summit, the Teach For America New York City Alumni Affairs team will be following up with many of you who indicated interest in getting involved in the community organizing, local political engagement, and advocacy side of things.

Before your December calendar fills up completely, I wanted to make this particular opportunity — a citywide forum where you can voice your perspective on mayoral control of the New York City public schools — available to all of you: http://gothamschools.org/2008/11/18/speak-out-about-mayoral-control/ . Going forward, we’ll be posting many such opportunities on LEE, as well.

Have a wonderful holiday.

My best,
Jessica

Jessica Cordova Kramer
Vice President, Alumni Affairs & District Strategy
Teach For America · New York City
519 8th Ave. - 15th Floor
New York, NY 10018
Tel. (212) 279-2666 x430
Fax (212) 279-2663www.teachforamerica.org

Meanwhile here is the anti Klein effort which I authored;

The Petition to oppose the appointment of Joel Klein.

We, the undersigned, devoted thousands of hours of volunteer time to the election of Barack Obama as President. As Professional educators we were encouraged by the promise to have an open and respectful dialogue within the educational community about NCLB, its limits, and its failures.
Now, a trial balloon has been advanced in the media for Joel Klein, Chancellor of NYC schools to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education in an Obama Administration. ( It is quite possible that Klein himself promoted the trial balloon.) Trial balloons are trials. They are floated to see how people will react.
This petition is a reaction.
The administration of Joel Klein as Chancellor of Schools in New York City is representative of a particular rigid approach to school change promoted by NCLB which we oppose. Rather than take the advice of educators, Chancellor Klein repeatedly championed and implemented policies that support corporate interests as opposed to children. The NY City Department of Education under Joel Klein has been run like a ruthless dictatorship – with no input from parents or educators. Teachers have not been respected, consulted, nor listened to. And little thought has been devoted to how the policies he has imposed on our schools have been destructive to the children and their futures.

Teachers, educators, and future teachers, read the entire petition and sign it at:

http://www.petitiononline.com/campd227/petition.html
Duane Campbell
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