Friday, February 06, 2015

Teach America struggling to recruit candidates to teach in nation's most troubled schools

Teach America—a program that recruits recent college graduates to teach in the nation's most troubled schools, often in rural areas—is having trouble finding interested candidates, Motoko Rich reports for The New York Times. Applications are down by about 10 percent this year, the second year in a row the program has seen a decrease in candidates, forcing Team America to close two of its eight training centers.

Matt Kramer, a co-chief executive of Teach for America, told Rich, “I want the numbers to be higher because the demand from districts is extremely high and we’re not going to meet it this year.” While Kramer said he is not concerned about the drop in applicants and that Team America won't lower is strict acceptance standards to increase its number of teachers, the organization's officials say the rebounding economy has led the most qualified candidates to seek employment elsewhere. (NYT graphic)

Overall, fewer college graduates are going into teaching, with the number of student candidates enrolled in teaching training programs falling by 12.5 percent from 2010 to 2013, according to federal data, Rich writes. "But Teach for America’s belief that new college graduates can jump into teaching without much training, as well as its ties through prominent alumni to the testing and standards movement, may also be taking a toll, driving away the kind of students the program once attracted."

Critics of Teach for America have "argued that sending enthusiastic but untested graduates to classrooms in some of the nation’s poorest communities with just five weeks of training would not produce great teachers," Rich writes. "They also said the program’s two-year teaching stints brought instability." (Read more)

1 comment:

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I must say, I love the vision of Teach for America. I hope this is but a temporary problem.