Growing Teach for America

Teach for America has a “moral imperative to grow” in size and influence, writes founder Wendy Kopp. Plenty of smart college graduates want to try teaching.

In a growing economy, when jobless claims are at the lowest point in four years, Teach For America has received a record 17,000 applicants. Twelve percent of the senior classes of Yale and Spelman, 11 percent of Dartmouth’s senior class, 9 percent of the senior classes of Princeton and Harvard, and 4 percent of the University of Michigan’s senior class have chosen to compete to join Teach For America.

Via Teach and Learn, a TFA veteran.

About Joanne


  1. Many agree that teaching is a job some try out before going on to something else. I think it’s great that 12% of Yale’s graduating class will try teaching, but I’m curious as to their motives.

    If they are those who have benefited from a scholarship to Yale and are returning to society a thank you, I’d like to know. If they are math and science nerds who feel compelled to raise up a child and set him straight, I’d like to know.

    And if they are anthropology or sociology or black studies graduates who are going to invade public schools and fill the skulls with mush, I’d like to know.

    Chester Finn reports that in middle and high schools only 31-41% of those teaching history majored in the subject at college. That could be the case even with a Yalie.

  2. I spoke with a TFA candidate, a senior at an Ivy, a few weeks ago. Despite currently being enrolled in a class about the 19th-century American novel, she’d never heard of James Fenimore Cooper.

    Sorry, can’t type more, tears are spilling onto my keyboard.

  3. Yes the problem stems from the “AP MINDSET.” Students who regularly test high, demonstrating aptitude, generally have only the aptitude for showing aptitude. They thrive only on praise.
    True content is a rare intellectual burden for these studens.
    The sad truth is often revealed at the conclusion of an Ivy League education, when the job interviews begin.