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December 26, 2007

Teach for America Considers Milwaukee

Alan Borsuk:

Teach for America, a high-profile organization that recruits college graduates to work at least two years as teachers in low-performing schools, might be coming to Milwaukee.

Wendy Kopp, the founder and chief executive officer of the New York-based organization, visited recently, primarily in an effort to raise money but also to talk about the organization adding Milwaukee to the list of more than two dozen locations nationwide where it places teachers.

There would be substantial hurdles to clear before the idea could go forward. At minimum, there wouldn't be Teach for America people in Milwaukee classrooms until September 2010.

"We're at such the beginning stages of even thinking about this - the conversation around whether it would ever make sense to build a Teach for America presence here in Milwaukee," Kopp said in an interview. But she said the idea had appeal.

Jim Rahn, education program officer for the Kern Family Foundation, based in Waukesha, said: "I've felt for a long time . . . that it would be a benefit, a blessing to Milwaukee, and you could add Racine and Kenosha, if we could find a way to work with Teach for America to provide another vehicle for talented, committed youth to enter the field of education, serving particularly in high-needs schools."

The Kern foundation has emerged as a major force in local philanthropy and was one of two destinations for Kopp during her visit. The other was the Bradley Foundation.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at December 26, 2007 12:00 AM
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