Patt Morrison for July 12, 2010

Teach For America receives record number of applications in a year where the teaching profession isn’t looking like it used to

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There is room for Teach For America teachers, but what about the people that actually want to be teachers for a living?

Once upon a time, teaching was a reliable, steady career choice. In the past several years, however, teachers have been laid of across the county, and aggressively within LAUSD. Teach For America, the program that places high-achieving college graduates in temporary teaching positions within struggling school districts, this year received a record 46,359 applications for 4,500 teaching spots, begging the question, what’s a teaching hopeful to do? Will rough times change a generation’s perspective on the teaching profession? Where are current teachers finding jobs these days? TFA is known, and often criticized, for being more about résumé padding for overachieving ivy leaguers than a silver bullet for public schools, but could the current economic reality make a program like TFA irrelevant?


Diane Ravitch, research professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Education; senior fellow at the Brookings Institution

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