The DeHavilland Blog

Monday, October 03, 2005

Top college grads start teaching

My friend DK of Phatgnat brought a NYT article to my attention today - "Top Graduates Line Up to Teach the Poor" (link here - free registration required). The article talks about Teach For America, a nonprofit organization started in 1989, and how it connects graduates of some of the top schools in the country with two-year stints in some of the country's highest-need schools. From the article:

For a surprisingly large number of bright young people, Teach for America -
which sends recent college graduates into poor rural and urban schools for two
years for the same pay and benefits as other beginning teachers at those schools
- has become the next step after graduation. It is the postcollege do-good
program with buzz, drawing those who want to contribute to improving society
while keeping their options open, building an ever-more impressive résumé and
delaying long-term career decisions.

This year, Teach for America drew applications from 12 percent of
Yale's graduates, 11 percent of Dartmouth's and 8 percent of Harvard's and
Princeton's. The group also recruits for diversity, and this year got
applications from 12 percent of the graduates of Spelman College, a historically
black women's college in Atlanta.

And while the commitment is only for two years, the article reports that more than half of Teach For America alumni remain involved in education, often in administrative or policy positions. This is definitely one piece of the solution to a better education system: getting bright students from some of the best universities in the country into the classroom and into the discussion on where education needs to go. Thanks DK!

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