Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Good Ideas for Teach for America

Rory at parentalcation is not all that infatuated with Teach for America, and presents some pretty good ideas. I like these two the most:
2. An expansion of recruiting into working professionals and retiree's. If TFA's recruiting and training system is so great, wouldn't it work to identify smart motivated middle aged or older professionals looking to make a difference.

4. Start your own Education School. One that conducts real research and then uses it to produce superior teachers. Certify your own teachers.
In genral, a guy like me would be generally ineligible for TFA, but I hold a Bachelor's degree from a quality undergraduate institution (University of Maryland-College Park), cum laude and a law degree (also cum laude). I can teach just about anything, although history and government would be my best subjects and I can't teach math beyond Algebra II without some serious refresher courses.

But that the Teach for America Education school would be absolute quality. First, they could make a requirement that you can't be a faculty member without having done at least your TFA service requirement and preferably more. A second requirement could be that any curriculum or policy advice a faculty member puts out there has to be field tested by that faculty member, this would make sure that faculty members show up in a classroom on a regular basis as well as lending real world support and data to academic exercises.

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