Learning From Counternarratives

LearningThe “achievement gap” is often presented as an isolated phenomenon, and it has become a misleading euphemism for the workings and product of historic oppression, structural injustice, and institutional racism.
Sarah Matsui, Learning From Counternarratives in Teach for America: Moving from Idealism Towards Hope (2015)

True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes that nourish false charity.
Paolo Freire, The Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1972)

When Sarah Matsui graduated from Penn, she was accepted to the competitive Teach For America (TFA) program, a two-year teaching odyssey in urban and rural schools all over North America. More than $300 million strong and heralding education reform through meritocratic slogans like “Work Hard, Get Smart,“ Data-Driven” and “Closing the Achievement Gap,” for the past 25 years TFA has successfully recruited the highest caliber graduates from top U.S. schools to heroically stride into the nation’s most under-resourced classrooms. Continue reading