Sunday, April 6, 2008

Rainy Sunday

Some more on education, from The Christian Science Monitor: a study on the effectiveness of Teach for America teachers -- and it turns out that the program is doing well, better than traditionally trained teachers in some subject areas. What I particularly like about the article is that it makes note of the fact that the program is incredibly selective (21% acceptance rate, from top colleges and universities). Although I adored my program (at a public university in New England) and learned quite a bit, I definitely think that it was a money maker for the university -- if you could pay, they would let you in, or at least that was my perception.

"One challenge with a model like TFA is that it's hard to replicate, says Douglas Harris, an educational policy professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The study suggests more broadly, he says, that people should be open-minded about 'all sorts of possible alternative routes to [teacher] certification.'

Cognitive ability is an important predictor of worker effectiveness in complex occupations like teaching, Mr. Harris's research has found. So alternative programs could be useful, for instance, if they draw in candidates who 'learn faster and learn better,' he says."

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