Top Grads Flood Nonprofit for 'Lowly' Teaching Jobs

Job-hungry grads swamp nonprofit org
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2008 5:18 PM CST
Elizabeth Venechuk, a third grade teacher at Powell Elementary School and Teach for America participant, teaches a math lesson in Washington, Monday, May 12, 2008.   (AP Photo/Brendan Hoffman)
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(Newser) – Students from the nation’s elite colleges are in hot pursuit of low-paying, high-stress jobs, the Washington Post reports. Inspired by Barack Obama’s message of hope and disillusioned by a battered Wall Street, prospective graduates have boosted applications to Teach for America alone by 50%. “I don’t know if anyone could have predicted this,” said a director at the nonprofit, which lands teachers in schools.

TFA’s dizzying popularity hasn’t silenced critics. One veteran educator and blogger says its rise has failed to “address the real problems in education,” and at least three major studies show students taught by TFA teachers score significantly lower than peers on standardized tests. Counters one TFA official, "It doesn't take much to sell the fact that these jobs actually change lives.”