Season 2 Episode 15

Teach For America: Friend or Foe? – All of the Above Season 2 Episode 15

Teach for America is one of the most impactful and controversial organizations in education today. Is it championing equity and opportunity or is it undermining the teaching profession? We are joined by two powerhouse educators and TFA alum--Tanya Franklin and Marcus Hughes--to unpack the debate over Teach for America. But first, we begin the episode with a review of recent education headlines about parent dress codes, Elizabeth Warren’s plan to tackle student debt, and a new online community college launching in CA.

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Episode Highlights


Jeff and Manuel examine recent headlines in education. A principal in Houston implements a dress code for parents, Senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren outlines her plan to cancel student loan debt and provide universal free public college, and an online public community college prepares to go live in California this fall.


Is Teach for America a friend or foe in public education?  Reformers have welcomed its emergence as an ambitious, results-oriented pipeline of talent into a field that has often struggled to attract and retain top talent among college grads. Teacher groups and other education advocates have criticized it as a thinly veiled attempt to undermine the teaching profession with untrained and unlicensed practitioners, and to extract large sums of money from the public coffers. We invite two powerhouse educators and TFA alum to our set to help us unpack the debate over Teacher for America.

Episode Extras

Coaching New Teachers: A Conversation with Dr. Marcus Hughes - An AOTA Ep.15 Extra

Jeffrey sits down with Dr. Marcus Hughes after our Teach for America discussion to discuss coaching and how being a new teacher today is more difficult than it’s ever been. Dr. Hughes is the Coordinator of Teacher Leadership at the Partnership for LA Schools where he specializes in supports for new teachers and supporting elementary schools with creating strong cultures of learning in classrooms. Dr. Hughes has worked previously for Teach for America as a coach for #TFA corps members, helping to build their capacity in the classroom. Dr. Hughes was a TFA corps member himself in Atlanta, but eventually returned to his native Los Angeles to continue his career in education.

The Quest for Restorative Justice: A Conversation with Tanya Franklin - An AOTA Ep.15 Extra

Jeffrey sits down with Tanya Franklin after our Teach for America discussion to talk about restorative justice. Tanya is the Senior Director of School Culture and Restorative Communities at the Partnership for Los Angeles schools. She also serves a leadership role on Teach For America’s Alumni of Color Collective as well as the Education Pioneers Los Angeles Alumni Board. Tanya was a #TFA corps member here in Los Angeles and is not only an educator, but also an advocate who holds her JD from the UCLA School of Law.