The Daily Kos had a story about one woman's story about Apple's program to have customers donate old iPads to TFA teachers. Her story of getting passed around at Apple corporate reminds me of my efforts to figure this out. From the story:
After being passed around on the phone from one corporate office to another, I finally asked Jerry in marketing if Apple knew that Teach for America recruits weren't really teachers -- that their claim of "Teach for America takes well-trained teachers—referred to as "corps members"— was completely false, and that the campaign was deceptive. I said it would be great if Apple were offering donated iPads to real teachers, but the company is misleading donors when it tells them their donation will go to a Teach for America "teacher."
The marketing guy then said this. "We paint with a broad brush when we use the term teacher." He said he considered himself a teacher because he taught people stuff sometimes. I asked him if he had studied to become a teacher or if he had ever taught in a classroom. He said "no." Then you are not a professional teacher I said. I went on to say I thought the campaign was a fraud and that Apple was giving legitimacy to an organization proven to do real harm to children. He said my complaint would be noted.
She goes on to note that Seattle's Parents Across America was the first group to actively protest. She goes on to say that Portland was next but then something curious happened:
I spent the past few days being passed around to from one Apple corporate office to another trying to get more information about the campaign. I asked specifically how long the TFA displays would be up and was told through September. I was told repeatedly by Apple that the TFA campaign was an ongoing thing and would continue as long as people wanted to give up their iPads. I also investigated the legalities of having a protest at the mall. Imagine my surprise when I went to the mall to talk to the appropriate contact about our protest and noticed the entire display had been removed.
So I asked a Genius why the display had been taken down. He didn't know. He said usually they are told beforehand when one campaign ends and another begins, but they had just come to work and the display was gone. He tried to access information on the internet and got this -- access denied: http://www.teachforamerica.org/... The campaign main page still exists here http://www.apple.com/... but all the supporting information about the program has been removed.
What's interesting is that all the info on this program on both TFA's and Apple's websites is now gone. Not even a campaign page at Apple.
I have no idea why Apple ended this so abruptly.
Maybe it was the issue that Apple could have cut out the middleman and just donated used iPads to their local schools (and not temporary TFA teachers).
Maybe it was the issue that only TFA teachers and no other teachers could be part of this program. (It did make it look like Apple favored one kind of teacher over another. Not a good business practice.)
Good for you, Apple.
One funny item is that I was looking around about info on this and found this at a New Orleans TFA teacher blog about the Apple program:
It is amazing to have a company support us in such a major way. So even though I don’t have a copy machine, or books for my kids, or enough pencils to go around… We will have an i-Pad!!!!!
Not enough book or even pencils for the kids but there's an iPad in the classroom.
I also found this:
I also found this:
Teach For America corps members are among the teachers guilty of cheating in Atlanta schools. Three teachers confessed and it seems there are others who may be identified. Kwame Griffith, the Executive Director of Teach For America Atlanta called the teachers' actions "unacceptable."
That's unfortunate for ALL the teachers involved, especially the "best and the brightest."