Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

From the Courtroom to the Classroom

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

From the Courtroom to the Classroom

Article excerpt

Their orientation session last week began with upbeat images of smiling students and colorful bulletin boards. Slides clicked on and off the screen to the sound of the Jackson 5 singing that it's easy as "ABC."

But nothing about the challenge these 81 men and women are facing will be easy. This is the second crop of recruits beginning in the New York City Teaching Fellows program. Last year's group of 350 has already been whittled down by a 9 percent dropout rate.

The teaching fellows are said to be a favored project of New York City Schools Chancellor Harold Levy. Under pressure to place certified teachers in failing city schools, Mr. Levy intends to expand the fellows program to bring in as many as 3,000 new teachers this year.

The fellows program seeks to recruit professionals from other fields interested in trying their hand at teaching. The city offers classes toward a master's degree in education and an alternative route to teacher certification. In exchange, they must accept placement in districts that are among the worst performing in the city. At least half the fellows in this group said they were taking a pay cut. …

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