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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Teach For America gets A lot of Funding

Ok, it's a terrific idea to recruit people from "top college graduates" to teach in public schools, but doesn't this miss the point? Good teaching comes from the heart as much as from the mind, doesn't it?

Do future TFA teachers get trained in having "heart"? Does the TFA curriculum include concern and love for all kids, no matter what their nationality or special needs?

May 14, 2008
Teach for America Sees Surge in Popularity

Teach for America, the program that recruits top college graduates to teach for two years in public schools that are difficult to staff, has experienced a year of prodigious growth and will place 3,700 new teachers this fall, up from 2,900 last year, a 28 percent increase.

That growth was outpaced, however, by a surge in applications from college seniors. About 24,700 applied this spring to be teachers, up from 18,000 last year, a 37 percent increase, according to figures released by the organization on Wednesday.

The nonprofit program sent its first 500 recruits into American public school classrooms in 1990. It has a large recruiting staff that visits campuses, contacting top prospects and recruiting aggressively. Founded by a Princeton graduate, it has always carefully sifted through applicants’ grade-point averages and other data in recruiting. But with the numbers of applicants increasing faster than the number of teachers placed, it was even more selective this year than before, the organization said.

About 11 percent of the graduating class at Yale applied, 10 percent at Georgetown and 9 percent at Harvard, said Amy Rabinowitz, a spokeswoman.

It was the No. 1 employer on many campuses, including at Duke, Emory, George Washington, Georgetown, New York University, and Spelman, Ms. Rabinowitz said. The campuses with the largest number of recruits, however, were large, prestigious public universities. About 90 recruits are from the University of Michigan, and about 60 from the University of Illinois, while Wisconsin, Berkeley and the University of Texas are each sending 50 recruits, Ms. Rabinowitz said.

The program will place teachers in 29 locations this fall. Those include many of the nation’s biggest cities and some largely rural states, like South Dakota, where about 50 recruits work on Indian reservations. About 1,000 recruits teach in New York City schools.

Teach for America’s budget is $110 million, up from $40 million in 2005.

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