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When Will Teach for America Teachers Shake the "Savior" Stereotype?

Ohio governor John Kasich offensively calls TFA corps members the "calvary". What gives with the persistent stereotype?


Here's one image problem that Teach For America can't seem to shake: TFA teachers as saviors. The stereotype of their teachers (called corps members) as the great hope coming to save poor students of color from lazy, regular teachers reared it's head again on Wednesday thanks to statements by Ohio governor John Kasich.

Kasich signed a bill that will allow TFA corps members to be hired by school districts in the state starting with the 2012-2013 school year. He called the bill a "landmark day for Ohio education" and clarified that allowing corps members to come to Ohio isn't an attempt to replace current classroom teachers. You may not agree with Kasich's point of view, but that's pretty benign as far as statements go. However, things went south when Kasich then referred to corps members as "the cavalry", saying

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Heroes: Teacher Saves 42 Students from Tsunami

Once the tsunami warnings sounded, Robert Bailey knew he only had eight minutes to save his student's lives.


Incredibly touching, heroic stories keep emerging from Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster, and the latest comes from the coastal town of Ofunato. A courageous high school teacher named Robert Bailey saved the lives of his 42 students—and he only had eight minutes to do so.

The 27-year-old British national has lived in Ofunato for four years with his wife, Mai. In a twist of fate that may have saved his life, Bailey wasn't scheduled to be at school last Friday, but went in anyway on his day off to teach a fun cricket lesson. He told Sky News that when the earthquake struck, he and his students "first heard a weird cracking noise, then came the violent shaking."

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