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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 Nine: Perpetuating, Committing, and Cultivating Racism: The Real Movement Behind TFA



Perpetuating, Committing, and Cultivating Racism: The Real Movement Behind TFA

AMBER KIM Metro Atlanta, 2001–2003


Amber K. Kim earned her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Denver in June 2012. Her mixed methods research evaluated Colorado Teach For America (TFA) corps members’ cultural competencies and beliefs about culturally responsive pedagogy. Amber is currently an education consultant who is passionate about promoting critical and culturally responsive pedagogy, helping educators reflect on and redress inequity in education environments, curricula, practices, and policies. She consults on innovative school/program designs that are student-driven, democratic, restorative, and project-based. She has worked with Tulsa Public Schools and San Francisco Unified School District, as well as Denver School of Science and Technology. Amber taught for 10 years in three cities—Chicago, Atlanta (corps member, 2001), and Denver. Most recently, Amber became a lecturer for the Universities of Colorado Boulder and Denver, where she teaches differentiated instruction and curriculum theory, respectively. She is a mother of three, a fat-cat lover, and a competitive kick-kickboxer. ← 95 | 96 →


People know about the Klan and the overt racism, but the killing of one’s soul little by little, day after day, is a lot worse than someone coming in your house and lynching you. — Samuel L. Jackson

I joined Teach For America (TFA) to be part of “the Movement” to end education inequity. Growing up in low-income schools in the...

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