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WaPo Columnists Debate Teach for America

Is TFA our best method for getting talented young people into the classroom?

Some of the best coverage on education that you'll read in the United States is in The Washington Post, which attacks the subject with reported news and features, as well as via several blogs and columns. Obviously, the outfit had been pretty busy over the last three-and-a-half years, as it bore witness to the lightning-fast reforms in the Michelle Rhee-run D.C. public schools. This week's two of its top voices, Jay Mathews and Valerie Strauss had a polite, but firm debate over the value of Teach for America to education reform.

Mathews wrote a book on the KIPP network of charter schools, is a fan of innovations that are brought into school systems, and was a sympathetic observer of Michelle Rhee's reign. Strauss, on the other hand, is put off by the sudden emergence of so-called "reformers" on the education scene, she finds the obsession with standardized tests to be counterproductive, and was significantly less charitable than Mathews when analyzing Rhee's tenure.

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