July 13, 2013 by juicefong
I attended the Free Minds Free People conference yesterday (Friday, July 12); they will be holding an anti-TFA summit on Sunday, so I was eager to participate. Got to watch the opening plenary with Jitu Brown giving the keynote, and attended a breakout workshop about growing your own teaching force from within the community. I had to leave home for NYC in the afternoon, so there’ll be no more live-tweeting from me at the conference. More reflections coming up. Here are my tweets from the conference:
I’m headed to the Free Minds Free People conference at Uplift Community HS in Chicago.
Buzzing, diverse crowd here at #FMFP2013; young, old and colorful. Registration line still jammed even though keynote already begun.
“I’m looking for a workshop on how to take down Rahm Emanuel. I’m looking for a workshop on how to take down privatization.” #FMFP2013
“In my neighborhood, the closing of schools has coincided w/ the closing of the precinct and the homicide rate jumped 300%.” #FMFP2013
Jitu: “90% of New Orleans schools now charter and 79% of them are given a D or F by the state. Best schools are the other 10%.” #FMFP2013
Jitu Brown talking about many individual strong local schools that have been shut down by CPS over last 20 years. #FMFP2013
Jitu calling out appointed school boards with uber wealthy members. “Are they accountable to us? No.” #FMFP2013
I’m headed to this workshop: Grow your own teachers: Community-based solutions to diversifying the teaching force… #FMFP2013
People here from Chicago, Detroit, NYC, Philly, Twin Cities, New Orleans, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Chile and more. #FMP2013
Woman here from Heinz Foundation in Pittsburgh. TFA-like model that recruits only black men, pays for their masters. 20 fellows this year.
Workshop I’m at run by Grow Your Own at Northeastern Illinois Univ. Mission: “to improve public schools in low-inc communities.” #FMFP2013
“Grow Your Own is abt countering structural racism in edu (incl factors that prohibit ppl of color from getting into ed schls).” #FMFP2013
Grow Your Own program participants: 49% black, 36% Latino, 2/3 btw age 30-50, majority have family income below $30,000. #FMFP2013
Great question to audience: What do you think makes good teacher candidates? #FMFP2013 at Grow Your Own
50 school closings in Chicago: 88% of affected kids are black, 94% low-income. #FMFP2013
I’m gathering from Grow Your Own ppl that TFA folks don’t fully realize damage to communities when teachers leave after 2 yrs. #FMFP2013
MT @EdTalent: absolutely – both for TFAers and for new urban teachers at large – last I checked avg tenure of new urban teacher = 1.6 yrs
Grow Your Own org displeased that while TFA has contract with CPS to apply directly to schools, their candidates don’t have that. #FMFP2013
@KatieOsgood_ Are you in here? I think GYO is excellent.
Grow Your Own: fundamental principal is that being from the community is a high value for determining who should be a teacher. #FMFP2013
@KatieOsgood_ TFA didn’t send me here. I sent me here. Can’t improve the org if we don’t listen to other perspectives. Must have dialogue.
@KatieOsgood_ I see this is an ideal for you but not likely realistic. Prob more likely that TFA influenced to change the way it operates.
That’s it for me from #FMFP2013. So glad I came and was nice to hear from different perspectives. Heading back to NYC now. Will blog.