Unfortunately, the article on Teach for America makes no mention of what might be of greatest interest to the Penn community — namely that the 257 corps members are all students at Penn’s Graduate School of Education.
The partnership between TFA and GSE makes it possible for these new teachers to receive professional certification over the course of their two-year service commitment. Most — 75 percent — of them elect to receive a master’s degree as well. While adding studying to their demanding teaching duties makes for a tough schedule, GSE provides corps members consistent mentoring delivered by experienced teachers as well as courses that include methods of instruction, child development and urban education.
As partners with TFA, we embrace the principle of equity in education. That our students are now placed primarily in charter rather than traditional public schools is an important change, but it doesn’t affect the goal of our work with student teachers: to help them increase opportunities for their students whether those students attend traditional district or charter schools.
Mary Delsavio is the Penn Director of the Penn Teach for America Program. Joan Goodman is a Professor and the Academic Director of the Penn Teach for America Program.