Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor

TFA Plays a Crucial, ‘Effective’ Role

July 09, 2013 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

In his recent post about Teach For America on edweek.org, opinion blogger John Wilson names “Madison Avenue” and “Wall Street” among the organization’s most dedicated advocates (“More Vetoes of Teach For America Needed,” John Wilson Unleashed, June 3, 2013). As a principal in west Charlotte, N.C., I live and work far from either place. But if there’s a list of believers in the work of this organization, I want my name near the top.

Based on my experience, Teach For America is a sound public investment for North Carolina and other states. As a principal serving high-need students, nothing is more important to me than having strong leaders in my classrooms. It’s critical for me to be able to consider high-potential candidates from a wide range of proven, effective pathways.

TFA provides one important route. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has identified corps members as the state’s most effective early-career teachers in a report issued this past February.

Every day, our teachers from all backgrounds come together to do whatever it takes for our kids and the low-income community we serve. Many are corps members. Many others are alumni of the program who are now taking on broader leadership roles. They are master-teachers, grade-level and department chairs, and, I suspect, a few principals in the making.

Above all else, our team believes in what’s possible in public education—not for some kids, but for all. And, together, we’re proving it. Since my colleagues and I started work at Ashley Park PreK-8 School four years ago, student proficiency scores as measured by the North Carolina End-of-Grade Test have increased across the board—65 percentage points in science, 31 in math, 30 in reading. In this, TFA has been key.

I don’t envy the difficult decisions legislators must make about where to direct resources in tough times. But I do know what it takes to get kids career- and college-ready, and I believe that Teach For America deserves support.

Tonya Kales


Ashley Park PreK-8 School

Charlotte, N.C.

A version of this article appeared in the July 11, 2013 edition of Education Week as TFA Plays a Crucial, ‘Effective’ Role


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Assessment Webinar
The State of Assessment in K-12 Education
What is the impact of assessment on K-12 education? What does that mean for administrators, teachers and most importantly—students?
Content provided by Instructure
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
Proven Strategies to Improve Reading Scores
In this webinar, education and reading expert Stacy Hurst will provide a look at some of the biggest issues facing curriculum coordinators, administrators, and teachers working in reading education today. You will: Learn how schools
Content provided by Reading Horizons

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession What Happens When Teachers Are Out of Sick Days?
We asked EdWeek's social media followers to share their school policies on COVID-related sick leave. Here’s how they responded. 
Marina Whiteleather
2 min read
Female at desk, suffering from flu symptoms like fever, headache and sore throat at her workplace
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Teaching Profession Explainer: Why Are Chicago Schools, Teachers' Union Fighting?
The issue that caused the most chaos in the roughly 350,000-student district was when and how to revert to remote learning.
3 min read
Members of the Chicago Teachers Union and supporters stage a car caravan protest outside City Hall in the Loop, Wednesday evening, Jan. 5, 2022. Chicago school leaders canceled classes in the nation’s third-largest school district for the second straight day after failing to reach an agreement with the teachers union over remote learning and other COVID-19 safety protocols. (Ashlee Rezin /Chicago Sun-Times via AP)
Teaching Profession Some Teachers Are Running Out of Sick Days, and Administrators Are Hesitant to Help
With a shortage of substitutes and pressure to stay open, administrators are reluctant to extend paid time off for teachers with COVID.
13 min read
Professional male social distancing or self quarantining inside a coronavirus pathogen.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Teaching Profession Opinion 18 Ways to Improve Teacher Observations
Holding pre- and post-conferences, showing more compassion and less judgment, and organizing peer observations are valuable.
19 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."