Teach For America finally comes to Ohio
In 2006 I visited the headquarters of Teach For America in New York City with Fordham’s Checker Finn and the head of the Columbus-based KidsOhio Mark Real for a meeting with KIPP CEO Richard Barth. At the time, KIPP and Teach for America were sharing office space in Manhattan and we met with Barth to try and convince him that Columbus was a good place for KIPP expansion, which ultimately happened in 2008.
Finally, Ohio is worthy of a red pin on the TFA map.
While waiting for the meeting to start we sat in the lobby of the TFA office where there hung a large map of the United States with a red pin in every state where TFA corp members were teaching. Ohio stood out like a sore thumb because it was surrounded by states with red pins. When we met with Barth he told us bluntly, “if you want KIPP to be successful in Ohio and grow, we need TFA there.” TFA serves as the talent pipeline for KIPP teachers and school leaders, as well as the pipeline for numerous other high quality charter school programs, education reform organizations, and increasingly reform-minded school districts and states.
Today, Teach for America announced that it will place 90 teachers in 14 schools in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky over the next three years, including Cincinnati Public Schools, Covington Independent Public in northern Kentucky and Dayton-area charter schools (three sponsored by Fordham). Governor Kasich summed up what this means for Ohio when he said, “It’s great that communities across Ohio have partnered with Teach For America to help recruit new effective educators for some of our highest-need urban schools. I’m confident that the long-term leadership and dedication of these teachers will have positive impacts in schools across our state.”
Finally, Ohio is worthy of a red pin on the TFA map. This is surely a good day for education and the children of the Buckeye State who will benefit from the passion, smarts, dedication and expertise of TFA corp members.
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May 8, 2013