Update on TFA/Apple Partnership

As I previously reported, I called Apple and TFA about this iPad partnership.  Apple was very nice but said they knew nothing about it and to ask TFA.   TFA didn't return either of my phone calls or my e-mail.  I can't find any other info via Google, either.

They want people to donate but they don't want people, even those donating the iPad, to know where it will go.  What is a big question is if TFA is giving the iPad to a school where a TFA recruit is assigned or to the TFA recruit?

Because thenwhat happens when the TFA recruit leaves the school?  Does he/she leave the iPad behind?  Take it?

I'd be troubled to know that I donated an iPad to a TFA recruit and not a needy classroom.  Which leads to the question of why Apple wouldn't eliminate the middleman (TFA) and just donate to needy schools in the cities where Apple stores are created.  A quick phone call to a district "Could you use some donated iPads in your classroom?"  and that's it.

Clearly, there is some mystery about this program that TFA and Apple don't want to address.  So my advice is, you eliminate the middleman and donate your old iPad to a needy school. 

From our reader, Sahila,

Let's ask Apple.

When: Saturday, August 13th from 10 to noon.

At 10am we will be gathering near the driveway next to RAM restaurant next door to go over the plan.

10:30am a group of teachers will be going in the store to ask for donated iPads (people will be needed to film on their iPhones preferably).

11am we will start leafleting and picketing outside the store against their partnership with TFA.

Where: Apple Store - 2656 NE University Village

Please contact us and let us know you're coming -

Kristin (Parents Across America - Seattle) -


Dan (Social Equality Educators) -


FunniestShitEVAR said…
Oh, I do so love an awesome laugh in the morning, a hearty from-the-belly roar. Thanks for that!
John said…
Hi Folks,

I called the Apple store in Tukwila and pretended to be an enthusiastic donor. I innocently asked if the IPAD went to the tfa recruit or the classroom and the manager answerred that it goes to the recruit.

Lying for a cause,

Momma Snark said…
Ummmm...so I'm no fan of TFA, but something tells me this is not going to be quite as effective as you might like it to be. Prepare yourself for some perplexed Apple Store reps and U Village patrons.
Anonymous said…
Anything that runs a ripple through the machine is not is vain.

At a minimum, the employees will contact "corporate"

--thankful to those who don't give up
I'm not sure the idea is to stop anything but to raise awareness.
anonymous said…

Article clearly says the ipad goes to the TFA recruit.
seattle citizen said…
Thanks for the link, SST.
From the link:
"Donate your iPad to Teach For America, and you’ll put a powerful tool into the hands of a teacher in a low-income community. To make your tax-deductible donation..."

Umm, I thought the district said that they had no control over which schools might hire TFA? It isn't a district decision, they said, it's the schools. This was said in response to Director Patu's complinat that TFA would be going only to poor children.

So a school that was NOT "low income" could hire a TFA, then that TFA would be getting an iPad even though they're not in a low-income school?

So: Which is it? Is the relatively wealthy Seattle getting TFA only in it's "lo income schools" or not? Is TFA just for those poor children, as Apple's info suggests? Didn't the ninth circuit rule this an infringement on the civil rights of children, only to have an end-run made around that by the "emergency cert" rules and Arne Duncan saying, hey, they're certified, so they're equal to other teachers (even tho' it's an emergency cert after five weeks training)

Lastly, this just continues to point out the problem with designating entire schools "low income" or entire races "failing" instead of addressing individual students. Schools aren't low income (unless they are underfunded...) some of the students might be. Heck, some of the "wealthy" seventh-graders at Eckstein in 2006 are now "poor" seniors at Hale because their parents' jobs went away and their house was devalued.
WenD said…
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WenD said…
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WenD said…
@Citizen: Thank you. Why is it that you're more forthcoming than TFA? They pretty much own at least one college of ed. In this position of authoritae, you'd think they'd be happy to break it down for us. (Who pays for the data plan?)

Interesting trajectory. We've gone from banning soda machines (for the kids), to allowing faux teachers to conquer the global achievement gap by pushing aside real teachers. There's zerot evidence to back up their claims. Where have we heard this one before? The purely political position that defies reality and reason. Oh wait, the war on the deficit. Conquering the deficit will "create jobs." (I don't believe that one either.)

The TFA corps are certainly a privileged class. They move right to the head of the line, just like that short list that benefit from "entitlement cuts." FTR, I've been paying into social security since I was 18. It's my money. Entitlement is on the other foot.
SST, that's true but when I tried to get a clearer idea of how the entire program works, no go. Things like:

- when it was started
- who started it
- why did Apple choose this route and not just collect iPads and give to needy schools in their area
- how are TFA teachers selected to receive the iPad
- what happens to the iPad when the teachers leave TFA

This was announced in March but I think they were having trouble launching it because the in-store advertising started in the back of the stores and now has moved to the front.
Anonymous said…
I bought an iPad this week. When I was offered the extended warranty, I replied that I would be buying the next generation iPad before the warranty could expire. The sales person brightened and asked what I would be doing with the old iPad. I told him I would be giving it to anyone other than Apple. He told me Apple gave iPads to teachers. I informed him that they did not give them to teachers; they gave them to TFA. He said, "Yes, we give them to TFA and they give them to teachers. I said, "No, they don't give them to teachers, they give them to TFA trainees, not teachers in general. He said, "Isn't that a good thing?" I then explained TFA to him and by the time I got through, he was really disappointed in the company he worked for.

Ha Ha Girl
JvA said…
I'm trying to fathom how deeply rose-colored your glasses must be if you think that the neediest donation recipients in America right now are Ivy League graduates. I'm imagining something like fuchsia?
JvA, there's the point. Apple is making it all look swell and good for schools. How is it good for schools if the TFA recruit leaves and takes the iPad with them?
JvA said…
I've been doing some reading this weekend on TFA members' experiences in the classroom, and now I'm thinking, give them the iPads. Give iPads to all teachers in high-need schools. (Who gets to keep them is probably irrelevant. If Apple takes the iPhone path with these devices, they won't support these already-old ones after another couple years anyway.)

I know this isn't an intelligent, helpful comment on policy. I'm just a little shell-shocked after reading first-hand accounts about the classroom environments where TFA
members have been placed. Not just the constant disruptions, but the level of violence in many classrooms. About kids punching each other in class, about them
throwing desks at each others' heads. About kids
JvA said…
(Sorry, I'm on an iPhone now.)

Anyway, I'm going to continue to read about this program. If nothing else, the blogs collected at teachforus.org (associated with TFA but don't seem censored) provide an eye-opening look into the state of the classroom at poor schools across the country. Those first-hand accounts, with lots of specific examples of the problems teachers face every day, are helping me understand how great the challenges are.

Just some naive ramblings here...
JvA, if you find out more information, please let us know but I doubt it.

"Who gets to keep them is probably irrelevant." Not really. Give it to a needy school - it stays there. Give it to a TFA recruit teaching in a needy school, it leaves with the recruit.
That Passionate Teacher said…

How did it go?
Anonymous said…
Sorry JvA, but that's pretty typical for new teachers in general, not jut TFA. TFA just publicizes things more, takes the worst stories, then puts them out there. I'd be happy to tell you about the third grade class I worked in in Tacoma where they flashed gang symbols and threatened to put out a hit on the teacher when she disciplined them. They could only go to the bathroom one by one since they would attack other kids, which meant 30 minutes of the teacher's day was spent with the whole class lined up outside of the bathrooms letting one in at a time. Why does TFA deserve something that real teachers and the neediest buildings don't get?
JvA said…
CT -- You're right. And the real teachers deserve it more, since they'll be in the classroom longer.

Also, if TFA is going to tout the ability of its members over real teachers to decrease the achievement gap (I know the claims are questionable at best), is it fair if they're providing their members with corporate donated technology that the real teachers don't get?
Anonymous said…
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