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First Lady Laura Bush's Education Initiatives
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Recruiting the Best and the Brightest

We know what works. We have the tools to help children succeed. But the tools are meaningless if we lack the third essential component -- teachers.

America's future depends on our teachers -- teachers with the training, authority, and freedom to challenge their students and change their lives.

While we have many wonderful teachers already at work in our public schools, we need to create more opportunities for men and women to enter the teaching profession. Many talented, well-qualified people have the desire to teach but do not have education degrees. This roadblock is a loss for these skilled individuals and for America's schools.

The First Lady will encourage America's best and brightest college students, professionals and military retirees to bring their talents and experience to classrooms around our nation, especially in inner-city public schools, where the need is greatest.

Teach For America:

Every child should have a high-quality education and an equal chance for success. In 1989, Wendy Kopp, a senior at Princeton University was troubled by the inequities in America's educational system. She decided to take action. She launched Teach For America, a national teacher corps. Since then, more than 6,000 outstanding young grads have taught close to a half million children, and these teachers have become leaders in the fight for educational equality for all of America's children.

The First Lady is pleased to join forces with Teach for America to encourage our country's best college graduates to join the teaching ranks.

The New Teacher Project:

The New Teacher Project is another outstanding teacher recruitment effort. This project helps inner-city and rural school districts establish teaching fellows programs to encourage professionals in all fields to take their talent and experience to our schools.

Teaching fellows programs guided by The New Teacher Project are designed to streamline the transition of professionals to teaching. Applicants must have a college degree. Fellows participate in an intensive teacher-training program, and a strong support network assists them throughout the school year.

Ninety-six percent of New York City's first class of fellows passed the state's main certification exam for new teachers after their acceptance into the program.

Among the applicants selected for the New York City Teaching Fellows program were a doctor and a former Criminal Court Judge with an undergraduate degree in physics from Harvard and a law degree from Yale.

Troops to Teachers:

Troops to Teachers recruits talented, retired military personnel, whose experience and strength of character can make a real difference in the classroom.

Many of these military professionals have science, math, and engineering degrees -- disciplines desperately needed in our schools.

Troops to Teachers candidates are men and women who have served their country and want to do more for the next generation. They're ready to teach and Troops to Teachers gives them the opportunity.

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Last Modified: 03/01/2007