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Partnered with 'U', Teach for America returns to Detroit

BY CAITLIN HUSTON
Daily Staff Reporter
Published May 4, 2010

Teach for America will return to the troubled public school system in Detroit at the start of the next academic year, according to a recent University press release. Upon its return to the city, the organization will enter into a new partnership with the University.

A national non-profit organization that recruits college graduates to teach in public schools, Teach for America will resume work in Detroit after a seven year absence. The program previously worked in Detroit from 2001-2003, according to the press release.

As part of the program, members of Teach for America teach in low-income communities for a minimum of two years.

Under the terms of the new partnership, Teach for America educators, who will work in Detroit’s public schools, will also enroll at the University to receive state teaching certification.

Deborah Ball, dean of the School of Education, said in the press release that the school was prepared and excited to partner with Teach for America.

"We are pleased to be able to partner with Teach For America," Ball said in the release. "We are committed not only to improving educational outcomes for children in Detroit but to transforming our system for preparing and licensing teachers in this country.”

Wendy Kopp, founder and chief executive officer of Teach for America, said the program chose to return to Detroit to continue its high level of community involvement and apply new techniques to promote education, according to the press release.

"We're excited to return to Detroit and join the innovative efforts of leaders across the city to expand educational opportunity for all children,” Kopp said.

The work of Jennifer Granholm, the United Way for Southeastern Michigan and the Skillman Foundation in Detroit played a large part in the program's decision to choose Detroit, Kopp said.

Ralph Bland, superintendent of Detroit Edison Public School Academy, added in the press release that he feels all Detroit schoolchildren can benefit from the work performed by Teach for America.

"We welcome Teach For America to Detroit and look forward to partnering in the effort to improve educational outcomes for our students. Teach for America's expansion to Detroit signals a critical step forward for our students in Detroit," Bland said.

The University has historically served as a significant recruiting ground for Teach for America — notably as the largest contributor to the program in 2009. About seven percent of this year’s graduates competed in a pool of over 46,000 applicants.

Current members of Teach for America will interview for positions alongside other applicants — unaffiliated with the program — in hopes of being placed in some of Detroit’s public schools.


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