Thursday, October 16, 2008

Teach for America coming to Metro schools in 2009

By MICHAEL CASS • Staff Writer (Tennessean) • October 16, 2008 Teach for America will place 50 new college graduates in Metro classrooms next fall, providing an infusion of new teaching blood that Mayor Karl Dean and other education leaders hope will give the struggling school district new hope. Dean and Teach for America announced the decision to a roomful of Metro government and business leaders, including some who quickly raised $1 million to convince the New York-based organization to come to Nashville a year earlier than would have normally been possible. "We could not wait another year," Dean said. Teach for America recruits highly motivated college graduates, gives them intense training and puts them in struggling schools in return for a two-year commitment. The program started in 1990 and is in 29 other areas, including Memphis. It planned to put 30 teachers in Metro until Wednesday, when it decided to boost the total to 50 - a number that will be matched in 2010-11. Dean also announced the completion of a $1 million fund raising drive for the New Teacher Project, which will work to help Metro schools recruit teachers more effectively; the creation of a Community Foundation fund to help pay for his other education initiatives; and the appointment of Laura Hansen, the Metro school district's continuous improvement coordinator, to lead the mayor's initiatives. Hansen will start working in the mayor's office early next month. Contact Michael Cass at 259-8838 or

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