Teach for America is shrinking. Not only is the number of applications going down, but placements are declining. Mercedes Schneider reports that the 5,800 TFA members were reduced to 4,100 last year. Given that there were 20,000 fewer applicants in 2016 than in 2013, TFA will have to make some organizational changes.
The President of TFA, Elisa Beard provides some interesting quotes.
To paraphrase them you could explain the drop in two ways. The business world is better at marketing these high academic achievers, and the debate about education reform is toxic.
TFA’s problems are also a bell weather for looming teacher shortages. We posted the dire predictions for 2025. The decline may be coming faster than we thought. If so, in this world of competing forces, perhaps teachers will have more clout!
More pressure for online learning, however, is likely to be a counterbalance. The discussion about the quality of online education is already beginning to take shape as computer based competency learning programs are rolling out. There is no rest for the weary. We must all remain vigilant.