Teach For America culls the best, gives kids hope

December 27, 2006

By hammersmith

[Source: Carol Sowers, Arizona Republic] — Hans Schmitz, 24, was poised to go to law school when he graduated last year from San Diego State University. A political science major, he sent applications to several California law schools, musing over a practice in mediation or public interest law. But then he heard a persuasive pitch by a college recruiter from Teach For America, a 16-year-old non-profit group that places carefully selected college teaching grads into some of the nation’s toughest public classrooms.

The $10 billion program, based in New York, relies on private donations, and sponsors across the nation, including many in the Arcadia area of the Northeast Valley. Schmitz learned that in 22 cities, these young corps members are closing gaps in the teacher shortage, raising test scores and earning the admiration of school officials nationwide. “When I heard the recruiter talk about kids who don’t have a whole lot of hope,” he said. “I though it would be a really good idea to make a difference.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]