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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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Slightly Alarming: Middle School Students in Washington Start a Real-Life "Fight Club"

Almost 25 boys at a Tacoma, Washington campus have been regularly meeting up in a school bathroom—to give each other organized, timed beat downs.


The Social Network director David Fincher once described his 1999 film Fight Club as being about "a guy who does not have a world of possibilities in front of him, he has no possibilities, he literally cannot imagine a way to change his life." Maybe this description of despair, which afflicted Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in the movie, is what's wrong with a group of boys at Steward Middle School in Tacoma, Washington. Instead of attending an after school program, almost 25 boys have been participating in a real-life fight club. They've been meeting up in a school bathroom for months just to beat each other down. And they've been filming the fights on their cell phones.

The fight club only came to light last Friday night after one of the boys broke "the first rule of Fight Club" and talked about what was going on. His aunt asked him what he liked to do after school, so he showed her cell phone video footage of some of the fights. The aunt—who wants to remain anonymous—went to Seattle's Fox News Q13 and gave a reporter the footage. The station aired it on Sunday night, and the school responded by suspending nine sixth graders that they could positively identify.

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