Teacher Preparation

Bipartisan Love for TFA

By Stephen Sawchuk — August 08, 2008 1 min read

Several former Teach For America alumni are campaigning for Sen. Barack Obama, my colleague David Hoff reports in this week’s edition of Education Week (check back here on our Ed Week homepage tomorrow for the full story). Sen. John McCain, too, has said he wants to increase the number of alternative-route teachers in America’s classrooms.

Meanwhile, there are a bunch of new legislative plugs for the program, which puts high-achieving college graduates from top schools into some of the nation’s toughest schools.

The bipartisan, newly reauthorized HEA bill authorizes $20 million for TFA for fiscal 2009 and $25 million for fiscal 2010. And there’s a new TFA grant in the NCLB-improvements bill introduced recently by Rep. Michael Castle, R-Del.,

Rep. Castle’s bill would require an evaluation every three years of the performance of students taught by TFA-ers compared with those taught by non-TFA teachers “in the same schools and positions.”

I wonder what Obama’s adviser Linda Darling-Hammond, who’s no fan of TFA and has done a couple of critical studies on the program, thinks of all this attention?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.