Bringing Teach for America into the Forefront of Teacher Education: Philanthropy Meets Spin

Kathleen P. deMarrais, Julianne Wenner, Jamie B. Lewis


This study examines the practices utilized by TFA from its inception in 1990 to create its brand and how these practices have transformed TFA into a cultural icon within the national landscape of teacher education. Well-funded through both philanthropic foundations, corporate sponsorships, and federal monies, TFA’s use of its organizational and political networks, as well as the media, has enabled it to position itself discursively as a leader in the preparation of teachers in the U.S, resulting not only in transforming state and national discussions about teacher preparation, but in establishing a network of elites with a particular ideology of schooling for poor students.



Philanthropy; Education Policy; Teach for America; Teacher Education; Alternative Certification

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education