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Teachers to Take Center Stage at NBC's Upcoming Education Nation Summit

The event will focus on solutions and the daily lives of American teachers.

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Is the White House Committed to Addressing the Role Poverty Plays in the Achievement Gap?

The Department of Education is allocating more money to the Promise Neighborhoods program. Is it enough to make a real difference?


More money is coming to the U.S. Department of Education's year-old Promise Neighborhoods program. Modeled after Geoffrey Canada's successful Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ) initiative, the Promise Neighborhoods program awarded $10 million in 2010 to 21 mostly nonprofit and higher education-based applicants. That money funded the planning stage of comprehensive, cradle-through-college-to-career wraparound services with great schools at the center. Now, starting today, the USDOE is launching a second phase of the program and will provide $30 million to a new round of grant applicants and fund the implementation of 4-6 existing projects.

But given that 20 percent of American students live in poverty, will this limited amount of money scale up the interventions fast enough to make a difference for kids?

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Teach For America's Model: Does It Need to Change?

A new petition says a five-week teacher training model does a disservice to children of color. Does the organization need to change more than that?


Last weekend, more than 11,000 Teach For America teachers and alumni descended on Washington, D.C., for the organization's 20th Anniversary Summit. I'm one of the alums who attended, and I had a fab time reconnecting with old friends and hearing from A-list education stars, like Geoffrey Canada and Michelle Rhee. But yesterday a fellow alumnae sent me a link to a petition that asks TFA to change the way it trains its teachers. It has me thinking: After 20 years in education reform, does the organization need to mix things up?

Central to the petition is the question of whether the predominantly low-income children of color taught by TFA teachers would be better off if those teachers had more training before they're put in front of a classroom. The petition asks TFA to expand its five-week summer training into a year-long "residency"—meaning that once accepted, a TFA teacher would spend a year apprenticing and learning the craft of teaching under the supervision of a mentor teacher.

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