Teach For America is bringing its educational program to Milwaukee, and Marquette will play a key role by training the program’s recruits to teach in Milwaukee Public Schools.
Teach For America places recent college graduates with strong academic and leadership records in school districts nationwide with the highest needs. Last year TFA accepted less than 15 percent of the 25,000 applicants for the two-year positions.
From left to right: Dr. Helen Sobehart, President of Cardinal Stritch University; Garrett Bucks, Executive Director - Teach for America/Milwaukee; Mr. William Andrekopoulos, Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools; State Representative Gwen Moore, Mayor Tom Barrett; Dr. Ryan Olson, Director for Education Reform - Kern Family Foundation; and Dr. John Pauly, Marquette University Provost
“We expect this to be a fruitful partnership between urban educational institutions sharing common values,” said Provost John Pauly. “In its principles and actions, Teach For America reflects our own long-held Jesuit ideals of excellence, social justice and the dignity of others.”
Teach For America plans to bring 30 corps members to Milwaukee each year for the next three years as part of a national growth plan. Corps members teaching in secondary and elementary classrooms will begin their training at Marquette in fall 2009, while those in special education, early childhood education, or bilingual education will take coursework at Cardinal Stritch University. They will complete the requirements for Wisconsin teacher licensure and have the opportunity to obtain a masters degree in education.
College of Education Dean William Henk said the program has largely been integrated into the existing post-baccalaureate teacher licensure program, and the Teach For America participants will receive the same standards as current Marquette students.
“Teach For America represents a welcome addition to the many current initiatives aimed at helping the school children of Milwaukee,” Henk said. “This will give hard-to-staff schools in MPS a new measure of hope.”
TFA’s network includes 29 urban and rural regions with 14,400 college graduates teaching students in low-income communities. More than 50 Marquette graduates have entered the TFA program since 1990, including 11 alumni who began teaching in the fall of 2008.
“We expect to create both significant numbers of new master teachers and future school leaders for Milwaukee as well as lifetime education advocates,” Henk said. “Most of all, we hope to enrich the education of many of Milwaukee’s neediest school children.”
Article by Tim Cigelski also appears in Marquette Matters