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Organization Finds Fewer Graduates Want to Join Teach for America

Organization Finds Fewer Graduates Want to Join Teach for America

For the second year in a row, applicants for Teach for America have dropped, breaking a 15-year growth trend.

Applications are down "by about 10 percent from a year earlier on college campuses around the country as of the end of last month," said an article on NYTimes.com.

According to the article, the group, "which has sought to transform education in close alignment with the charter school movement, has advised schools that the size of its teacher corps this fall could be down by as much as a quarter and has closed two of its eight national summer training sites, in New York City and Los Angeles,"

“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,” said Matt Kramer, a co-chief executive of Teach for America, according to the article. But, he added, “it is not existentially concerning.”

Last year, the article said, "the highly selective program accepted about 15 percent of its applicants. Mr. Kramer said there were no plans to lower standards for the current year simply to yield a larger corps of teachers."

According to the article, "some say the decline in applicants could point to a loss of luster for the program, which rose to prominence through the idea that teaching the nation’s poorest, most needy students could be a crusade, like the Peace Corps. Teach for America has sent hundreds of graduates to Capitol Hill, school superintendents’ offices and education reform groups, seeding a movement that has supported testing and standards, teacher evaluations tethered to student test scores, and a weakening of teacher tenure."

“It’s so different from three years ago, where suddenly you have candidates that may have an offer from Facebook and Wells Fargo and an offer to join the T.F.A. corps, and clearly, the money is going to be radically different,” said Lida Jennings, executive director of the Los Angeles office of Teach for America in the article.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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