HISD Getting A Big Batch Of Teach For America Kids This Fall
Teach for America, the non-profit group that sends elite college grads to teach in inner-city schools for two years, is setting up to have a banner year this fall in Houston.
The organization says it will place 250 new teachers in the Houston area this year, a record, bringing the total number of TFA teachers here to about 450.
Part of the money to hire the graduates comes from a state grant targeted to Houston, Dallas and the Valley; other funds come from private donations like grants from the Arnold Family Foundation.
"I am pleased to welcome such a large group of our nation's best and brightest young people into Houston's classrooms next fall, and I look forward to seeing the impact they will have on our students in both the short and the long term," HISD superintendent Abe Saavedra said in a release.
The competition to get into TFA can be intense -- last year 35,000 applications were received for 3,500 slots -- and it does attract some stellar students.
According to a 2007 release from the organization, applicants that year included:
11 percent of the senior classes at Amherst and Spelman; 10 percent of those at University of Chicago and Duke; and more than eight percent of the graduating seniors at Notre Dame, Princeton and Wellesley. Among the 2007 applicants were the student body presidents of Bowdoin, Spelman, Wellesley and Tufts; the president of the senior class at the College of the Holy Cross; and the presidents of the student and class councils at Brown and George Washington universities, respectively.
Students who become TFA teachers (through an alternative-certification program) receive their normal school-district salary and an additional voucher usually used to pay down student loans.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.