Friday, March 3, 2017

Odd questions on the latest TFA alumni survey | Gary Rubinstein's Blog

Odd questions on the latest TFA alumni survey | Gary Rubinstein's Blog:
Odd questions on the latest TFA alumni survey


As a TFA alum, each year I get invited to fill out the annual alumni survey.  Sometimes I boycott the survey, knowing that TFA is likely to misrepresent the results of this survey.  Whether it is the claim that two-thirds of alumni are still teachers or that 80 percent of alumni are still working in education or are otherwise impacting low income communities, TFA is never very transparent with the raw data they use to generate these numbers.
This year I decided to take the survey anyway.  Maybe it would give some insights into what TFA is thinking nowadays DeVos and everything.  They’ve actually been pretty quiet lately.
I’ve always wondered about that statistic about how 80 percent of alumni are either working in schools or otherwise in low-income communities.  It seemed like there would have to be some staffer at TFA who would make a judgement call if, for example, someone working as an admissions officer at a college would count as being ‘in education’ or if someone who is a lawyer and from time to time has clients who are low-income if they would count as ‘impacting low-income communities.’  It turns out that it is much simpler than that:
tfasurvey2

So the person doing the survey gets to make the judgement.  I’m not sure if this is a statistically valid way of doing this.
Near the end of of the survey I encountered a series of questions that I would best describe as ‘creepy.’  Everyone in TFA can recite Wendy’s famous mission statement “One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.”  That was the motto back in 1991 when I was a corps member and that is still it today.  It is an optimistic mission statement and I wonder, since TFA is all about data, if they know what percent of students had this opportunity to attain an excellent education back in 1990 when TFA started and what percent of students have an opportunity to attain an excellent education today, so see how we are doing on that goal.
So here are the series of questions I’m referring to:
tfasurvey-all-children
I find the questions to be very odd.  The fact that someone on staff, maybe a team of people, wrote these questions and edited them and then looked them over again before Odd questions on the latest TFA alumni survey | Gary Rubinstein's Blog:



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