Certification Program Disappoints

By Elizabeth Rich — August 13, 2007 1 min read
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The New York Teaching Fellows program was the subject of a tell-all article in The Village Voice last week. The fast-track certification program, founded in 2000, offers provisional certification, a subsidized master’s, and the opportunity to teach in the country’s biggest school system. This year 20,000 prospective teachers—among them many career changers—applied to the program, with roughly 2,400 earning a spot at the blackboard. Fellows comprise 20 percent of the fall’s new hires, but half will most likely quit by their fifth year, according to Department of Education statistics.

Why? According to the article, many fellows give the program an F for administrative bureaucracy, job placement, classroom support, and the quality of the master’s degree. Unprepared for the extent of classroom behavioral issues, many fellows just walk away. Sara Lippi, a fellow who’s staying, told The Village Voice, “You know you have the opportunity to do something positive, but you’re also so ill-prepared in that situation that you could really do harm to these kids…”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.