Math for America

I just stumbled upon a web site for an interesting new program that is recruiting and training math teachers to work in poor urban schools that are particularly starved for talent. It's called Math for America, and it's modeled after -- any guesses? --Teach for America.

It started in New York City 2004 by mathematician James H. Simons, and it recently expanded to the DC region. The first year, fellows get a master of arts in teaching from American University, and then they teach in District schools for four years. The program provides full tuition, stipends, and mentoring.

There is a lot of room for programs like these that go after talented mathematicians, offer to pay them more than the going rate, and give them more than the flagging support that a lot of teachers find in public schools. If anyone knows of similar efforts to recruit math teachers, please let me know... I'd like to write about them.

I'm heading out of town, and signing off for a few days. I will be back on Monday.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

By Michael Alison Chandler  |  November 26, 2008; 8:00 AM ET  | Category:  Math Education Reform
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Teach for America has been very unsuccessful, given the amount of money thrown at the program.

I just visited the Math for America Web site, and it appears to actually be "Math for Some of America's Failed Urban School Districts," limited to NYC, D.C., L.A. and San Diego.

Posted by: BradJolly | November 26, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Hey BradJolly, I'm interested to hear more about why you think Teach for America has been unsuccessful. Are you referring to the questionable retention rates or something else?

Posted by: Michael Alison Chandler | December 1, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Michael: Do you have any insight into the logic behind why the 'Teach for America' program is US citizens only? A large proportion of undergraduate math students would not be US citizens.

Posted by: mathlete | December 1, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

It's a good question, mathlete. I'll look into this. The web site says:

"All candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents due to the certification requirements for New York State," so this may be a state certification issue, not a programmatic one.

Posted by: Michael Alison Chandler | December 3, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

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