The event will focus on solutions and the daily lives of American teachers.
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?
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.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched on Washington, D.C., 48 years ago, in part to end racial segregation in schools. Sadly, despite today's holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader, a less overt but still pernicious form of school segregation—the achievement gap—continues unchecked.
Laura Thrall, the CEO of the United Way, told Chicago's Fox 11 that her organization's involvement came about because they're the social action partner for the documentary Waiting for Superman. Thrall says nothing will change in Chicago schools by pointing fingers, and the summit isn't out to pit teachers unions against charter school advocates. Instead, with only 54 percent of the city's high school students graduating, Thrall wants to, "bring people together, connect the dots," and get schools fixed.