I received this description of Achievement First from a friend who teaches in the public schools in New Haven, CT. She granted me permission to publish this snippet, anonymously:
AF (achievement first) has planned on expanding to RI for at least a year now. I started teaching through Teach for America, who AF works very very closely with. Many of the admin and at least 1/3 of their teachers are TFA Alum, and many first year corps members are placed there. They constantly recruit us, so I get several of their emails, and recall getting info about leadership academies going in “anticipation” of a RI expansion.
AF is very similar to KIPP schools, except AF stays concentrated on the East Coast (for now). Recently they’ve “reached out” to “build relationships” with the local districts. Really all that means is they got a grant to start an Emerging Leader program with New Haven. They pull coaches and teachers, put them through PD, allow them to work in one of their schools for a little while, then send that back to the public schools to “make a difference.” Our district has taken on a lot of their data systems and other crap.
I’m not sure what else you want to know, but as I said having become a certified teacher via TFA, and having several aquaintances work for AF, I’m fairly familiar with aspects of the organization. I’d be happy to share any other info you might want.
So, any questions for our New Haven teacher?
I’ll post an update about this evening’s hearing in Cranston later tonight.