Author Topic: Teach for America  (Read 1129 times)

Offline Magic Wand

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Teach for America
« on: August 23, 2010, 09:42:36 am »
With Limited Training, Teach for America Recruits Play Expanding Role in Schools
The Washington Post
By Michael Birnbaum
 
Four months ago, Jamila Best was still in college. Two months ago, she started training to become a teacher. Monday morning, the 21-year-old will walk into a D.C. classroom, take a deep breath and dive into one of the most difficult assignments in public education.

Best is one of 4,500 Teach for America recruits placed in public schools this year after five weeks of summer preparation. The quickly expanding organization says that the fast track enables talented young instructors to be matched with schools that badly need them -- and the Obama administration agrees. This month, Teach for America won a $50 million federal grant that will help the program nearly double in the next four years.

But many educators and experts question the premise that teaching is best learned on the job and doesn't require extensive study beforehand. They wonder how Best and her peers will handle tough situations they will soon face. Best, with a Howard University degree in sociology and psychology, will teach students with disabilities at Cesar Chavez Parkside Middle School in Northeast Washington. She has none of the standard credentials for special education.

"I'm ready to go," Best said last week at the public charter school as she put finishing touches on her lesson plans. "The challenges will come."

Teach for America, based in New York, was founded in 1990 by a Princeton graduate who hoped to expose future leaders to the problems of education. It enlists college graduates from a variety of academic backgrounds and career interests, not just education majors.

The recruits commit to teach for two years in low-income urban and rural public schools. The program was formed to match needy schools with elite teachers from schools such as Harvard, Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley. Its alumni include the founders of the KIPP charter school network, Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, as well as D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee.

rest of story, HERE
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