is the VOA Special English Education Report.
for America is a non-profit program that places new teachers in schools in
low-income areas across the country. The teachers must remain in their
positions for at least two years. About
seventeen thousand college graduates have worked in the program since it began
in nineteen ninety.
A student at Princeton University, Wendy Kopp, developed Teach for
America as part of her college work.
Money from major businesses helped make her idea a reality. Wendy Kopp still heads Teach for America. It
receives support from the federal government, private businesses and
education experts criticize the program because its teachers get only five
weeks of training before they start teaching. And they say most of the teachers
do not continue teaching after two years. However, the program says most of the
teachers who took part in the program are studying or working in education. And
many of its former teachers have become leaders in the effort to improve
education for all children.
Margery Yeager is an example of this.
Mizz Yeager taught in a public school in Washington, D.C. as part of Teach for
America a few years ago. She now works in the office of Michelle Rhee, the top
official of the District of Columbia public schools. Mizz Yeager says Teach for America changed her life path and that
of many others. She says teaching in a
city school is extremely difficult and more training time is not necessarily what
is needed. She says even people who
move to other kinds of work continue to stay involved in education issues. Chancellor Michelle Rhee and other top
officials of the D.C. school system also served in Teach for America.
Earlier studies about the success of
students in Teach for America classes have been mixed. However, a recent study involved high school
students in North Carolina. It found that the students of Teach for America
teachers scored higher on mathematics and science tests than other students.
Working for Teach for America is
extremely popular among top college graduates.
The program reported an increase in applications this year from eighteen
thousand to twenty-five thousand. About
three thousand seven hundred new teachers were accepted. Teach for America will
have about six thousand teachers in public schools across the country in the
And that's the VOA Special English
Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. I'm Barbara Klein.