Acts 9:18... kinda
At the risk of belaboring, it is this last issue that is the most unfortunate. Oft-repeated and oft-cited, the duh-invoking notion that the entirety of the achievement gap cannot be closed solely from within the school site has germinated into a nice talking point, an easily applied defense of a variety of policy mistakes. Folks in my neck of the TFA woods are growing a lot more direct in voicing this two-parts-to-the-movement ideology, pushing the notion that they've hit on something special and unique.
TFA has been slow to realize that a bunch of people with extremely limited experience attempting to shape policy is not new at all.
But fine. There are some real bottom line issues surrounding this approach, and my real issue here is not with the underlying philosophy, but with the weight applied to the two parts ideology. In terms of human capital, capital capital, time, effort, and all other measurables, it is fairly clear that TFA would weight the importance of its two-parts approach as about 20-80 teaching to "continuing-to-lead." Or maybe it's more like this:
Years 1-2: Teaching 100% / Other pursuits 0%
Years 3: Teaching 30% / Other pursuits 70%
Beyond: Teaching 0% / Other pursuits 100%
In any event, last week my inbox filled up (seriously, numerous forwards with subject lines like did you see this?) with this announcement for a TFA event sub-titled: Long Term Paths in Teaching. The event promises a discussion of "school site leadership, National Board Certification, considering administrative roles, avoiding burnout, [and] professional development" and it represents the first substantive shift in the relative weight TFA assigns to the two-parts approach. While I fear that folks involved in the tangential charter "movement" will dominate panel membership, I nevertheless applaud the effort and hope it is indicative of further improvements/ realizations in this area.