Teachers Are Losing Their Jobs, but Teach for America’s Expanding. What’s Wrong With That?
This story was produced in collaboration with the Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news outlet based at Teachers College, Columbia University.
For the second week in a row in his new home, Kenneth Maldonado’s evening ritual began with lumping sweaters and sleeping bags into the shape of a mattress in his otherwise empty bedroom. It was late September of 2011, the end of his first month as a Teach for America instructor. Having been only recently approved to teach in the Seattle school district, he was broke. But Maldonado and his two roommates—also TFA teachers—were among the lucky ones. Just a few weeks earlier, a half-dozen of their fellow recruits had been camped out on the hardwood floor of the unfurnished common area, homeless and unemployed.
The Teach for America program, now twenty-four years old, selects and sends young college graduates (referred to as “corps members”) to teach in schools serving primarily disadvantaged children of color, after giving its recruits five intensive weeks of training over the summer. Like the Peace Corps, TFA is a résumé booster, and its alumni have gone on to successful careers from the White House to Wall Street.
“Teachers Are Losing Their Jobs, but Teach for America’s Expanding. What’s Wrong With That?”
By Alexandra Hootnick
The Nation. 15 Apr. 2014. Web. 09 July 2014.