Alneada Biggers, Harvard class of 2010, was amazed this past year when she discovered that getting into the nation’s top law schools and grad programs could be easier than being accepted for a starting teaching job with Teach for America.Hah. "Settling for" law school is one of the first red flags that you do not belong in law school. There are easier and more lucrative professions to "settle for" rather than spending 3 years of your 20s and $150k to enter a miserable and jobless profession. Oh well. Alneada Biggers should feel very blessed. Teach for America might have saved her from the horrible fate of law school or graduate school during the jobless era. I'm going to guess Biggers will have a better chance at finding a job three years from now than her UVA Law friend.
Ms. Biggers says that of 15 to 20 Harvard friends who applied to Teach for America, only three or four got in. “This wasn’t last minute — a lot applied in August 2009, they’d been student leaders and volunteered,” Ms. Biggers said. She says one of her closest friends wanted to do Teach for America, but was rejected and had to “settle” for University of Virginia Law School.
Another plus that TFA offers is an income that most unemployed and shitlaw lawyers can only dream of: a $45,000 yearly income. I'm sure doc review attorneys are drooling right now.
I've heard mixed reviews about TFA. I knew several people who did the program right out of college and were unprepared and inexperienced to deal with the demands of teaching in an urban environment. TFA seems to have gone the way of top graduate and law schools in that it is prestigious in name and all the Ivy League grads want to go, but one can argue about its benefits to the people they are supposed to serve. I've always felt the program serves more as a stepping stone for the participating college graduates to put on their resume to get into a prestigious graduate school or get a good job after they leave TFA.
While Teach for America is highly regarded by undergrads — Mr. Goldberg said Duke recruiting sessions typically attracted 50 students — it gets mixed reviews from education experts.
Research indicates that generally, the more experienced teachers are, the better their students perform, and several studies have criticized Teach for America’s turnover rate.
“I’m always shocked by the hullaboo, given Teach for America’s size” — about 0.2 percent of all teachers — “and its mixed impact,” said Julian Vasquez Heilig, a University of Texas professor. Dr. Heilig and Su Jin Jez of California State University, Sacramento, recently published a critical assessment after reviewing two dozen studies. One study cited indicated that “by the fourth year, 85 percent of T.F.A. teachers had left” New York City schools.
“These people could be superstars, but most leave before they master the teaching craft,” Dr. Heilig said.Maybe TFA should accept people who are actually serious about teaching as a career and not because they graduated from college (or law school) and couldn't find a job. Did any of you unemployed lawyers out there apply to Teach For America?