Contact Me By Email

Atlanta, GA Weather from Weather Underground

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Options Open, Top Graduates Line Up to Teach to the Poor - New York Times

Options Open, Top Graduates Line Up to Teach to the Poor - New York TimesOctober 2, 2005
Options Open, Top Graduates Line Up to Teach to the Poor
By TAMAR LEWIN

Lucas E. Nikkel, a Dartmouth graduate, wants to be a doctor, but for now he's teaching eighth-grade chemistry at a middle school in North Carolina, one of nearly 2,200 new members of Teach for America.

"I'm looking at medical school, and everybody says taking time off first is a good idea," he said. "I think I'm like a lot of people who know they want to do something meaningful before they start their careers."

For a surprisingly large number of bright young people, Teach for America - which sends recent college graduates into poor rural and urban schools for two years for the same pay and benefits as other beginning teachers at those schools - has become the next step after graduation. It is the post-college do-good program with buzz, drawing those who want to contribute to improving society while keeping their options open, building an ever-more impressive résumé and delaying long-term career decisions.

This year, Teach for America drew applications from 12 percent of Yale's graduates, 11 percent of Dartmouth's and 8 percent of Harvard's and Princeton's. The group also recruits for diversity, and this year got applications from 12 percent of the graduates of Spelman College, a historically black women's college in Atlanta.

All told, a record 17,350 recent college graduates applied to Teach for America this year. After a drop last year, applications were up nearly 30 percent. Teach for America accepted about a third of this year's Ivy League applicants, and about a sixth of all applications.

Teaching doesn't pay much. It isn't glamorous. And the qualifications of most young people going into the field are less than impressive. A report by the National Council on Teacher Quality last year said the profession attracts "a disproportionately high number of candidates from the lower end of the distribution of academic ability."

But then there's Teach for America, whose members typically have top academic credentials - the average G.P.A. is 3.5 - experience with children and determination to get results.

Teach for America officials see their recruiting success as a sign of the post-9/11 generation's commitment to public service, and to improving the quality of education for low-income children. "The application numbers we're seeing reflect college students' belief that education disparities are our generation's civil-rights issue," said Elissa Clapp, Teach for America's vice president of recruitment and selection.

Many corps members talk passionately about the importance of education, and the need to close the achievement gap between white and minority students. But part of Teach for America's allure is that it's only a two-year commitment and a way to put off big life decisions, like where to live and what career to choose, decisions that people in their 20's are delaying ever later in life.

"I don't think very many of my peers know what they want to do," said Nathan Francis, who graduated from Yale last spring, was accepted to Teach for America, but declined the offer because he was unsure that he could be a good teacher for disadvantaged students after nothing more than the group's summer training. "A lot of people who just graduated are looking for things to do, so it seems very appealing to have something to do that's worthwhile and short term and gives you two more years to think about your career."

In fact, Yael Kalban, who helped organize campus recruiting as a senior at Yale last year and now teaches second grade in the Bronx, said that even a two-year commitment was daunting to many of her classmates.

"We'd tell people we thought they'd be great, and they'd say they didn't know if they were ready to commit two years," she said. "So we would get alums to come in and say they'd done Teach for America, and now they were in medical school, law school or architecture school, and that those two years weren't that much, and had actually helped them get into those schools."

Although more than half the Teach for America alumni remain involved with education, often in administrative or policy positions, many of the applicants do not plan a long-term teaching career. In fact, many also interview for competitive jobs with investment banks and management consulting firms.

"This is a generation that thinks a lot about keeping their options open," said Monica Wilson, assistant director for employer relations at Dartmouth. "For students who want to look for an alternative to the corporate world, Teach for America offers a high-profile alternative. They put on a real strong marketing blitz, and they are very much a presence on campus."

Rachel Kreinces first heard of Teach for America as a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania. She had been thinking of going straight to law school, but after starting a writing program for middle-school students in Philadelphia, she was intrigued by the prospect of teaching for two years.

After taking a five-week training program over the summer, Ms. Kreinces is teaching sixth-grade special education students at P.S. 123 in Manhattan, arriving at 7:30 a.m., prepared to offer as many tutoring hours and after-school meetings and gimmicks as it takes to help them learn. Before school started, she bought gold envelopes and cut out round "I'm a champion" medals for each student.

"In training this summer, we watched videos of this incredible teacher," she said. "He had this 'Mission Impossible' theme going, and his kids were clamoring for more homework and we were all sitting there thinking, 'How can I be this kind of teacher?' and my idea was this Classroom of Champions. I want so much for these kids to do well."

Teach for America grew out of a senior thesis by Wendy Kopp, a Princeton student, proposing a national teacher corps. Ms. Kopp quickly got seed money from Exxon Mobil, then, with a small staff, began a grass-roots recruitment campaign that yielded 500 fledgling teachers, who were placed in six regions in 1990. Teach for America has grown rapidly, with backing from corporate partners, philanthropists interested in education reform and Americorps, which provides the teachers with $9,450 after two years, to repay education loans or to pay for future schooling. Since 2001, the group has benefited from the same surge of interest that has brought record numbers of applications to long-established groups like the Peace Corps.

Teach for America is a growing presence in many school districts, including New York City, which has about 800 Teach for America members this year, twice as many as last year. All told, Teach for America has about 3,700 teachers - 2,190 in their first year and 1,520 in their second - teaching in 22 areas, from Los Angeles and Baltimore to the Arkansas Delta and the Pine Ridge Lakota Sioux reservation in South Dakota. The group only operates in regions certified as high need by the federal government and willing to employ teachers who have not yet earned certification.

As much as anything, Teach for America is a triumph of marketing. The group, based in Manhattan, recruits on more than 500 campuses nationwide and spends about a quarter of its nearly $40 million budget on recruitment and selection. The vast bulk of its members come from 141 top schools where it hires students, at about $500 a semester, to help organize recruiting events and act as headhunters.

"It's very intensive recruiting, to meet the goals Teach for America sets for us," said Mike Kalin, who was one of the Harvard recruiters his junior and senior years, and now teaches in the South Bronx. "Some of my friends might have thought I was a little too intense my first year. There were some individuals we really wanted to go after because we thought they'd be great. It helped that the class president, for the previous two years, had joined Teach for America."

It has also helped, on all campuses, that Teach for America now has a track record: An evaluation last year by Mathematica Policy Research found that Teach for America members produce slightly higher math achievement and no worse English results, than other teachers. And a June 2005 evaluation by Kane Parsons & Associates found that 63 percent of the principals in the schools where they work regarded Teach for America teachers as more effective than the overall faculty.

However, a study of Houston student achievement released earlier this year by Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University and others found that although Teach for America teachers performed as well as other uncertified teachers, their results did not match those of certified teachers. Teach for America officials contend that the study was flawed.

While most parents do not know that their children are being taught by Teach for America members, some New York City principals say, they love having Teach for America members assigned to their schools.

These days, Mr. Kalin's intensity is being poured into his American history classes.

"I'm having trouble sleeping, but I'm really enjoying it," he said. "It's frantic but fun. Classroom management is the hardest thing for me. I've learned that the minute I turn my back, it's a volcano in the classroom, so I won't be turning my back anymore. There's three other T.F.A. teachers in my school, and we're getting through it together."

39 comments:

  1. Rather was prevented by CBS (subsidiary of Viacom) from going after...
    Online Journal Contributing Writer October 1, 2005 -Former CBS News anchor Rather says CBS ... Speaking at the National Press Club on September 26, Dan Rather responded to a question posed by moderator Marvin Kalb concerning the controversial TANG files of George W. Bush.
    Cool blog, I'll definitely stop back from time to time to check it out and see what's new.

    I have a pretty neat home based business site/blog myself. It teaches you how to turn your favorite hobby or interest into a money making home based business success that you're sure to enjoy.

    Come and check it out if you get time :0)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really liked your page and it is related to 14kt gold lady watch, until next time!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yo, This blog is pretty neat. You should check out mine sometime. It pretty much covers credit repair services related stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous5:50 PM

    Yo, This blog is pretty neat. You should check out mine sometime. It pretty much covers filing income tax return online related stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello, just visited your blog, it's geat. I also have a boat loan related blog with some useful articles about the topic. Hope that it is helpful to you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Informative post. Take a look at my credit site ( http://mortgage.27days27gurus.com/ ) f you can. Thanks online credit card

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous11:15 PM

    Hey, Nice blog on macmillan publisher. It is always nice to locate an information source like this one. If you need some more resources, I invite you to our site which has lots of fresh information on macmillan publisher . Thanks...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great site. I am very interested in consumer credit counseling of atlanta and have also tried to set up an informative site about consumer credit counseling of atlanta please feel free to check it out and make any suggestions.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous7:34 AM

    you have a pretty cool blog here another one of my favorites is a site on credit repair debt consolidation that deals with credit repair debt consolidation stuff. I suck at it so I like to share.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous11:34 AM

    San Diego is having a Hot Rod Halloween on Sunday, October 30. If you love 1985 gmc picture show truck then you will want to be there! All kinds of 1985 gmc picture show truck will be in attendance. For more information go to 1985 gmc picture show truck
    See Ya There!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous12:49 AM

    Nice blog. Check out mine if you can. Thanks. finance yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous12:55 AM

    I enjoy reading the blog over here chevrolet equinox

    ReplyDelete
  13. For more in formation about national collection agency, check out the national collection agency blog.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous11:16 PM

    Great Blog! I would like to let your readers know about a site that can give them a FREE Instant Auto Loan Quote. Just Enter Your Zip Code!
    You can check it out at:
    FREE AUTO LOAN QUOTES

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous4:52 AM

    Hey, nice blog and great info!
    I have a new identity theft resource site. Its a really great site for identity theft resource.
    Come and check it out if you get time I would really appreciate it :-)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Cool blog you have. I have a payday advance loan oregon related site. Check it out if you get a chance. The URL is payday advance loan oregon

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous4:13 AM

    Hi, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to visit again! Please feel free to visit my blog too at http://rushprnews.iuplog.com, RushPRnews Daily Gazette.
    My site is ** RushPRnews press release services, distribution and free web posting** . Cordially, Anne Laszlo-Howard

    ReplyDelete
  18. online casino advertising Best casino directory online casino advertising free game online. About casino online promotion casino online review, online casino advertising slot of casino new online casino gambling internet online is casino online poker (casino gambling guide online) casino free gambling money online casino online sultan of bonus casino online casino advertising . The casino gaming online casino internet online. online casino advertising

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous11:45 PM

    Great blog! I often write about northeast title loan. Check out my northeast title loan site. It mostly deals with northeast title loan.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yo, you have a Terrific blog here! Lots of content means more readers, more readers means more interaction!
    I'm definitely going to bookmark you!
    I have a
    computer repair networking nj site/blog. It pretty much covers computer repair networking nj Problems with your Windows Xp Computing !
    Come take a Look when you get a chance. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I just came across your blog about anxiety disorder and
    wanted to drop you a note telling you how impressed
    I was with the information you have posted here.
    I also have a web site about "anxiety disorder
    so I know I'm talking about when I say your site is top-notch!
    Keep up the great work, you are providing a great resource on the Internet here!

    anxiety disorder child

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous11:09 PM

    Thanks for creating this site!

    I am a water garden enthusiast as well. I enjoy surfing the Web and finding sites that are related to water gardening that I can tell my newsletter about. I will be sure and bookmark your site.

    Please feel free to pay me a visit to find more information on koi pond accessaries
    and water gardens.

    Thanks,
    Thomas Holley
    Water-Garden-Directory.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous8:19 AM

    great blog. I have found another informative site with information on michigan real estate school at michigan real estate school

    ReplyDelete
  24. Come Visit Santa at his blog and tell him what you want for Christmas,

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hello, this is a great blog on online auto loan, Please visit my site when you get a chance at http://www.loanofficial.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. For Sale By Owner home listings helps you sell your home with free advertising and no commissions. Your listing and pictures are instantly available to show your FSBO
    From Dodds Volter

    ReplyDelete
  27. Anonymous8:00 PM

    Thanks for offering this great service to learn about b b electronics. I have a website about b b electronics which makes me very interested in what you have going here. I think I am going to start up my own blog so I can spread the news! Thanks you are offering this great service!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous2:55 AM

    Just read your blog. Very interesting, I will be sute to bookmark it. Perhaps if you get time you could visit my payday cash loan site.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Anonymous4:07 AM

    Hey blogger do you know that you can make cash from your blog?

    Its so simple a child could do it!

    This goes for anyone reading this too.

    You can make up to $0.40 per visit with this nice affiliate program called Zangocash

    Its one of the best programs out there at the minute and can suit any blogger or webmaster!

    To sign up and start earning money right away!

    Just click this link below
    make money fast and easy

    So why not start earning today!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous9:22 AM

    Hi,

    I have some really good websites below that can help you with credit repair and legal law forms.
    You can also check out the news section at "Latest Legal Articles"

    Preparing legal documents has never been easier
    with our library of forms, agreements, and checklists. It is valuable to small and growing businesses and entrepreneurs.

    Have you ever needed a legal form but didn't know where to get one? Have you ever wanted to cover yourself in a legal agreement or make sure that those you love are protected? FastLawForms.com is an easy to use online legal forms provider that can and will save you thousands of dollars of lawyer's fees every year.
    www.fastlawforms.com

    Repair your own credit , Credit Repair is an ongoing matter for many consumers. Consumers have paid up to $500 or more to credit repair companies who follow this same process to remove their credit errors. Without credit you can't get a car, travel, loan money, or even get mortgage.

    www.creditrepair.fastlawforms.com

    Have you been victimized by credit repair companies? Many companies promise or guarantee to clean up your credit report so you can get a car loan, a home mortgage, insurance, etc. In reality, they can't deliver what they promise. You pay them hundreds dollars in fees and these companies do nothing to improve your credit. Many of them just disappear.

    Everything a credit repair companies can do for you, you can do for yourself at no cost. No one can do a better job in repairing your own credit as you can. You are the only one responsible to make sure your credit report is accurate. Our guide will help you every step of the way.

    www.creditrepair.fastlawforms.com

    www.governmentgrants.fastlawforms.com
    If your application for credit is denied due to information supplied by a credit bureau, the company you applied to must be liable to provide you with that credit bureau's contact information. Furthermore you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report if you've been denied credit within the last 60 days

    Disputing credit mistakes or outdated items is free. Just ask the credit reporting agency for a dispute form or submit your dispute in writing, attach any supporting documentation. Always send them a copy instead of the original

    www.creditrepair.fastlawforms.com Team

    www.dogidea.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!

    I have a **Free mortgage advice** site/blog. It pretty much covers ##Home Mortgage advice## related stuff.

    Come and check it out if you get time :-)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Super job on the blog. You should check out No Credit Check Student Loan
    to get great info on No Credit Check Student Loan
    . Keep on blogging.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Another death innocent penalty Resource... LifeLaw.org . A discussion forum for all that deals with such hot-button issues as death innocent penalty .

    ReplyDelete
  34. Anonymous6:40 AM

    Be prepared for the next hurricane news or find another one that's similar. As the Boy Scouts say: "Be Prepared"!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I had that happen to me . I sent an email to admin and they took care of it. Payday Loans Cash Advance

    ReplyDelete
  36. Sad to say I just got back from a bowling tournament and decided to log in and do some websurfing. John H. Armwood I love your blog. I had some very good laughs. I am doing a paper on bank credit cards and have been downloading information for the last hour. I don’t know how I came across Options Open, Top Graduates Line Up to Teach to the Poor - New York Times but I am glad I did. It has set me back a little because I have spent the last hour reading your archives. If you don’t mind I would like to add you to my favorites so I can back again and read some more. Well I need to get back to bank credit cards. I am almost finished with it. Great job.
    p.s some very good points on your blog

    ReplyDelete
  37. I have been on-line searching for hours for information regarding hsbc credit cards and stumbled across your blog during my journey :-) John H. Armwood your blog is really amazing! Keep up the great work. Obviously my search on hsbc credit cards was way off when compared to Options Open, Top Graduates Line Up to Teach to the Poor - New York Times and find it funny how it landed me here. The internet is a funny thing. Anyways, great job on your blogging and keep up the good work! I been searching for hsbc credit cards for over 2 hours and needed a break from it. I started reading your blog and really started getting into it.
    P.S I will add you to my favorites so I can come back and visit later
    P.S.S If you want to bookmark my site I am at hsbc credit cards. You never know you may find some good deals!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Sad to say I just got back from a bowling tournament and decided to log in and do some websurfing. John H. Armwood I love your blog. I had some very good laughs. I am doing a paper on bank credit cards and have been downloading information for the last hour. I don’t know how I came across Options Open, Top Graduates Line Up to Teach to the Poor - New York Times but I am glad I did. It has set me back a little because I have spent the last hour reading your archives. If you don’t mind I would like to add you to my favorites so I can back again and read some more. Well I need to get back to bank credit cards. I am almost finished with it. Great job.
    p.s some very good points on your blog

    ReplyDelete