Scene: Last fall, at the MI Association of Public School Academies conference. A panel featuring an array of high-profile leadership figures in Detroit is asked about the most effective strategies for fixing schools in Detroit. Surprisingly, nobody mentions more charters. One of the panelists suggests that Teach for America would make a big difference. A former corps member herself, she refers to TFA as the Peace Corps of Teaching.
Q from the audience: Wow, that sounds great! What special training do TFA members get before they come to Detroit? Special classes for working in tough urban districts? Do they student teach here first?
Panelist: Ummm. Well, there's this five-week summer seminar called Institute that's, like, intense. But mostly, they're graduates of top colleges who have to compete to get into the program. They're the best and the brightest!
Sitting at a table with several DPS NBCTs and a Milken winner, I hear one mutter something about also being the cheapest. And--in the end--it is about money, more or less.
Read the whole thing here.
Friday, May 07, 2010
That Old Detroit Perfume
Nancy Flanagan writes about Detroit, lay-offs, and Teach for America on her blog at Education Week.