Almost all of us say that as a nation we should work out our differences and unite to solve our problems. But we don’t mean it.
Exhibit A is the bad blood between the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teacher’s union, and Teach for America, the most popular public-service option for graduates of selective colleges.
The NEA has been at odds with TFA since the teacher recruitment program began. NEA leaders dislike the idea, conceived in 1989 by 22-year-old Princeton undergraduate Wendy Kopp, of giving young people selected for academic achievement and ambition just five weeks of summer training before having them teach in some of our lowest-performing urban and rural public schools. TFA’s steady growth and rising status at prestigious universities has not soothed NEA’s distress.
This is both a national and a local issue. The NEA’s national headquarters is in the District. One of the largest contingents of TFA teachers works in the District and Prince George’s County.