More questions for Teach For Canada

Before I wrote my last post expressing my skepticism about Teach For Canada, I wrote to the contact address on its website to ask a few questions. Information on the website seemed sparse, and I didn’t want to risk misrepresenting the organization.

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Here are the questions I sent to

1) You mention on your website that you are consulting with various stakeholders and community members. Do these include teacher unions? Faculties of education? Can you be more specific as to who in your targeted communities you are consulting with? 
2) What is the basis for deciding where there is a “teacher supply” problem? I teach in Nova Scotia, for example, where even in rural areas I hear (anecdotally, admittedly) that it is hard for B.Ed. grads to find work. Do you have any figures that explain where this teacher supply problem exists? Please name specifically some of the places where you intend to work. 
3) Joe Bower wrote on a recent blog post about Kyle Hill’s work with BCG [Boston Consulting Group]. Does Mr. Hill work with BCG on matters related to education? If so, can he provide details on the kind of work he does? 
4) Your 4-person board of directors seems to have little expertise in the field of education. Could you respond to Joe Bower’s point on this matter and name some of the other educationists who are collaborating on this project with you? 
5) Have you consulted with any of the prominent experts in the field of Indigenous education in Canada, such as Marie Battiste or Verna St. Denis, about your program? Are you working in conjunction with Indigenous-led initiatives on education such as Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey? Does your program fit with the AFN’s 2010 policy document “First Nations Control of First Nations Education“? 
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Kyle Hill, one of the two co-founders of the project (the other is Adam Goldenberg), responded to me with a perfectly pleasant offer to meet with me to discuss my concerns, since he happened to be in my town.

I was out of town at the time, so I asked if he could please answer the questions via e-mail, which he said he would do. After not hearing for a few days, however, I decided to go ahead and publish my blog post (things get busy again once the school year starts).

Hill wrote soon after to say this:

Hi Ben,

I just saw that your article on Teach For Canada was posted this afternoon, so we’ll hold off on sending answers to your questions.
The overarching message would have been that we are approaching Teach For Canada with a collaborative, respectful, and responsible frame of mind, and so we are spending a lot of time having conversations with key stakeholders. There will be much more to discuss in the coming year, when we make concrete decisions about the design and execution of the program. These are still very early days for Teach For Canada.

I wrote back to ask Kyle if he could still answer the questions, which I would post verbatim on this blog. I’d still like to know the answers, and the offer to publish still stands. Kyle, if you read this, I’m sure I’m not the only one who would appreciate knowing these details about you and the project.

PS : I’m also curious to know who are the Indigenous leaders with whom TFC says it’s working to develop its program.

PPS: Since I posted my piece Tobey Steeves has published a well-researched series of posts on Teach for Canada on his new blog Remapping Education, some of which relate to my first two questions above. Tobey found some information that I hadn’t; this post in particular provides some details into TFC’s specific plans for operation.

5 thoughts on “More questions for Teach For Canada”

  1. Hello, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it
    has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, great blog!

    1. Thanks for the heads-up – someone mentioned similar problems before. I’m a Chrome user and am not quite sure what to do, but will try to look into it!

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