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Teach for America's Youth Is Being Served

Teach for America (TFA)?recently announced it is receiving $100 million from four philanthropists to start its first endowment. The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, one of the “Big Three” Education philanthropists, pledged the first $25 million, which encouraged matching donations from three others. “A few years ago we embraced the priority of making Teach For America an enduring American institution that can thrive as long as the problem we’re working to address persists,” said Wendy Kopp, the founder of TFA. “I think it’s only appropriate in our country – which aspires to be a place of equal opportunity – that we have an institution which is about our future leaders making good on that promise.”
The money comes at an interesting time, to say the least. As budget cuts around the country have state legislatures threatening to lay off thousands of teachers, the teachers typically deemed most expendable are younger, less-experienced teachers. (Some politicians, meanwhile, are pushing back against the pro-seniority, pro-tenure thinking, from Mike Bloomberg in New York to G.O.P. governors across the country.) If you take a look at the graphic to the right from the illustrated edition of SuperFreakonomics (you might want to hit your “magnify” key), you’ll see that describes TFA’s demographics to a T. But that very youth and dynamism are of course part of what has made the TFA movement so strong.