Education Reform Effort Generates Controversy

January 28, 2011 at 9:05 PM Leave a comment

From the LA Times: “Philanthropist Eli Broad and three other donors announced Thursday a $100-million endowment to make Teach for America [TFA] a permanent teacher-training program.”

The Broad Foundation focuses on education reform and has worked with the Gates Foundation on other reform projects – not without controversy.

This particular project focuses on recruiting top college graduates to teaching, training them and then placing them in “some of the nation’s most challenging urban schools.” Critics have emerged here as well, as the article notes:

Early on, the program’s intensive training was not regarded as effective enough to result in consistently good teaching. TFA leaders now say research demonstrates their training program has become among the nation’s best.

More recently, a coalition of groups has challenged the designation of TFA’s rookie teachers — who enter the classroom after a brief, whirlwind training regimen — as highly qualified. They assert that many hard-to-staff urban public schools and charter schools claiming to be staffed by highly qualified teachers are not.

The article doesn’t list the members of this coalition. We can’t help but suspect that teachers’ unions may be involved, but that of course is just wild speculation.

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Entry filed under: General.

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