Everyone Loves a Crazycrawfish!

 

Woohoo!

We did it!

You did it!

Congrats to all my loyal blog viewers and all my new friends! We just crossed the 100,000 view threshold! Without your help we would never have been able to reach this total. For comparison purposes we only had around 12 k views from March of 2012 to December 31st 2012 or about 1300 views per month. Since January 1st of 2013 we’ve already reached 100k in just a little bit more than 7 months or an average of about 12,500 per month. Each month we are reaching as many folks as we contacted in all of 2012.

We are also closing in on 1000 followers with well over 800 and counting compared to maybe around 60 by the end of 2012. However this is not the extent of the story. I would also like to thank all of our followers who are also loyal e-mail “forwarders” of many of our pieces. I’m told those mailings may number in the 10s of thousands. While those numbers may not show in the official stats since the entire articles is being forwarded or posted on other websites, in store windows and passed out at churches and carpool lanes, you are helping getting the word out about issues that are dear to all of us.

At the end of the year I will summarize all of the progress on issues we’ve tackled together, and those issues that still need some attention but before then I hope we get to celebrate our 1000 member goals, our 200,000 views, or even our one millionth view.

Although the posts have been slowing up a bit of late, rest assured that our efforts and antics have been forging forward at full-tilt. I hope to have some great news and plans to share with you all in the coming months that I hope will make you all as excited as we are down at the blog.

In honor of this momentous occasion please “mudbug” your friends into signing-up for to receive notifications about new posts on our blog at crazycrawfish.wordpress.com. If you are a twitter follower, please consider giving us a shoutout with a Friday Follow or just encourage your friends to follow crazycrawfish on twitter right now!

Tell your teacher friends, tell your fellow state workers, tell your parents and grandparents and tell your students age 13 or older (we sometimes have naked crawfish posted here).

Louisiana, we’re just getting stirred up.

Now geaux get us some more followers!

Education is something we should all care about and everyone needs to be properly informed about the things they care about.

Let’s all be crazy together, and together we can take back our education system.

CCF

The Dissidents of TFA

Great refurational piece from the perspective of former TFA members now turned dissidents and students taught by TFA in New Orleans in wake of Katrina. A sad punch to the gut for kids already struggling to stand up in the aftermath of that catastrophe.

Diane Ravitch's blog

A few weeks ago, critics of Teach for America met in Chicago to look critically at what TFA is doing, to air their complaints, and to shape a different path for the future.

See, TFA recruits very smart, idealistic young people, and they can figure out what is happening and recognize when they are used as pawns.

This post is one of the fruits of that meeting. It is a description of TFA’s leading dissidents. These are TFA graduates who went through the program and began to wonder if they were being used as cannon fodder by an organization that is now part of the corporate-funded privatization agend.

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From the Mailbag: Teach For America Defector Speaks

Check out this refutation and repudiation of TFA including a recent comment from a recent East Baton Rouge corps member. TFA started out with such promise, now it harvests young idealistic college grads and sacrifices them for their political ambitions and goals. Warn your children about enlisting in what has become a corrupt political engine.

Cloaking Inequity

There is a growing crescendo in support and opposition of Teach For America from its alumni base. For all of Cloaking Inequity’s posts on Teach For America go here. Also see my piece in the New York Times on Teach For America here.

Howard Blume from the LA Times recently wrote two pieces about TFA. The first and the second.

In the first, it was announced that the Walton Foundation was going to provide funding to hire 700 more rookie TFA teachers to put in front of poor and minority (although this word is now a misnomer in California, Texas, New Mexico etc.) kids in LA.

In the second he relates:

…Some former participants and academics, among others, have recently accused the Peace Corps-like organization of taking sides in the education policy wars. They criticize the nonprofit for aligning too closely with its largest private donors and…

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A State Without Ethics

Not to mention Mira Orange Jones raised over 450 thousand dollars largely from out of state contributors like Bloomberg and PACs to swamp.a race where winners usually spend just a few thousand dollars historically. I have a listing of her donors from last race and their addresses, as well as a pile of TFA contracts to go through which have been approved during her tenure. I wonder how many of her out of state donors donated to TFA and got sweet Louisiana contracts in return? The ethics board should never have allowed such a figure receiving large sums of out of state money working for a national education organization that also recieves large unlimited donations to serve on a state board of education or approve any contracts for anyone. We truly have no ethics in Louisiana under Jindal.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Which state has the lowest ethics in the nation? Without question, it is Louisiana. This is the state where the “ethics board” ruled that members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education could vote on contracts for campaign contributors, because they did not work for them as employees.

This is the same “ethics board” that saw no conflict when Kira Orange Jones, the director of Teach for America in Néw Orleans, was elected to the state board, which proceeded to award a $1 million contract to her employer.

Now Orange Jones has statewide responsibility for TFA. No doubt the “ethics board” will find no conflict between her employment and her role on the state board.

The state could save money by abolishing this useless agency.

A blogger in Louisiana described the situation as follows:

“One of the defenses for Kira Orange Jones’ elected position on BESE not being a…

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