While cities like Boston and New York are jumping from the Teach For America ship crying poverty, Baltimore wants to double its number of passengers. Recognizing the promise of the program (over half the teachers placed there since the program came to Charm City still work there), city officials are asking for twice as many TFA corps members for fall 2009 and 2010. "I think of TFA as almost an instrument of reform in the district...We have surveyed principals that have used TFA before, and 97 percent would hire more if they could," says district chief Andrés Alonso. The one hurdle? The district may not have enough money to meet its goal, so it's looking to external fundraising to bring in the $3.8 million necessary to expand TFA's ranks. So far, businesses and foundations are stepping up to the plate. Three cheers to Mr. Alonso for recognizing that tough budget times shouldn't turn off the human-capital spigot.
"City Wants to Expand 'Teach for America' program," by Liz Bowie, Baltimore Sun, May 25, 2009