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Teach For America Counter-Narratives

Alumni Speak Up and Speak Out


Edited By Jameson T. Brewer and Kathleen deMarrais

In its twenty-five years of existence, Teach For America (TFA) has transformed from an organization based on a perceived need to ameliorate a national teacher shortage to an organization that seeks to systematically replace traditional fully-certified teachers while simultaneously producing alumni who are interested in facilitating neoliberal education reform through elected political positions. From its inception, TFA has had its share of critics; yet criticism of the organization by its own members and alumni has largely been silenced and relegated to the margins.
This book – the first of its kind – provides alumni of TFA with the opportunity to share their insight on the organization. And perhaps more importantly, this collection of counter-narratives serves as a testament that many of the claims made by TFA are, in fact, myths that ultimately hurt teachers and students. No longer will alumni voices be silenced in the name of corporate and neoliberal education reform.
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Chapter Eleven: Elite by Association, but at What Expense? Teach For America, Colonizing Perspectives, and a Personal Evolution



Elite by Association, but at What Expense? Teach For America, Colonizing Perspectives, and a Personal Evolution

ANNE MARTIN Metro Atlanta, 2008–2010


Anne Martin is a Ph.D. student in educational policy studies at Georgia State University with a concentration in research, measurement, and statistics. Originally from Kansas, she attended Kansas State University, majoring in psychology and French. After graduation, she joined the 2008 Teach For America Atlanta Corps. She works as a third grade teacher and has taught first through fourth grades over the past 6 years. During that time she completed coursework to earn her renewable teaching certificate as well as a master’s of education in elementary education with a mathematics endorsement from Georgia State University.


I first learned about Teach For America (TFA) during my junior year of college at Kansas State University when a friend I met through a mutual interest in campus involvement applied. She was the hardest working and most involved person I knew, heading up several campus-wide programs. When she was rejected by TFA, any initial interest I had in applying dissolved, as I perceived her to be a much stronger candidate than I would have been. With thoughts of TFA long gone, I was surprised, and a bit flattered, to be contacted by a TFA recruiter early in ← 111 | 112 → my senior year. She was persistent in scheduling a meeting with me, and although I told her...

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