Teach for America

March 3, 2011 at 4:13 am Leave a comment

http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2011/02/marie_levey-pabst_will_teach_for_america.html

Well intentioned.  Misses the mark because 1) based on charity not sowing and reaping, 2) based on assumption that elite must give to poor, 3) teaches elite maybe but never the poor, 4) fails because it frustrates the few givers.

Futility of government programs. Answer is not to bash government programs.  The answer is to put in place programs based on principle and faith that do work. Then, where possible, replicate the success.

For instance, Pandurang Shastri Vaijnath Athavale’s Swadhyay Movement is an example of a movement where the poor themselves led their change without charity, and with only the catalyst of extraordinarily low cost intervention: visitors’ questions. Disciples were to visit the poor, but not beg from them as was common, and merely ask them questions. From this, the poor communities worked together to create temples where they shared farming or fishing knowledge, contribute toward a temple storehouse that was then used as charity, disaster relief, or risk management. Thus the entire community was lifted, leadership gained, and effort rewarded.

Another example of great stride in education is the homeschool movement. With no public outlay and certainly variable outlay inhomes, extraoridnary out-performance has been achieved — often in the very strata of society where it might be least expected.

When do we see poor minorities and affluent Euro-Americans working together, instead of being thrown together temporarily only to entrench separate feeling?  Is it not churches — like mega-churches where a faith (read empowerment) message is taught?

Bless the folks at Teach for America; I guess much good is going on. I surely am in no position to parse all of the ins and outs of that, as I am not a public school person. I do, however, want to build a vision for those of us who are willing to work with faith, vision, and innovation for a movement that is self-sustaining, real, not based on hand-outs or government, and that changes everything.

Entry filed under: Improving education nationally, Uncategorized. Tags: , , .

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