Thursday, January 07, 2010

Teach For America Makes the Grade at Challenged Schools, Criticism Aside

Below is a spot-on article by Rotherham a year ago on the moronic (I
love that word!) vitriol toward TFA by those in the field, who remain
"largely shuttered to fresh thinking and new approaches":

Research by independent research organizations shows that on average
Teach For America teachers are as good or better than other teachers,
and not just the hodgepodge of last-minute hires in districts without
enough teachers, but also traditionally trained teachers and veterans.
Those results say as much about Teach For America's effectiveness as
about the sorry state of teacher training today. Yet overall it is
clear that corps members are doing no harm in the classroom. This
explains why superintendents in high-need communities—who are
accountable for student learning and represent the market test for the
program—aggressively seek out Teach For America teachers.

By Andrew J. Rotherham

Posted February 9, 2009

Andrew J. Rotherham is cofounder and codirector of Education Sector, a
national education policy think tank. He blogs at

With the nation focused on service and the challenges America faces it
was not surprising to see successful non-profit organizations like
Teach For America thrust into the national spotlight during the
presidential campaign and the transition in government. What is
surprising and disappointing is how much vitriol is still directed at
Teach For America 18 years after it was launched and despite its role
in fueling a long overdue revolution in American education.

 Subscribe in a reader