Dallas Leaders To Head Public School Classrooms During Teach For America Week

Leaders from across the city and state will visit local public schools to serve as guest teachers during Teach For America Week, to be held April 5–9. Confirmed participants include former First Lady Mrs. Laura W. Bush, Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, and executives from FedEx and Fidelity, two leading corporate supporters of Teach For America. Among these corporate leaders are FedEx Office President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Philips and Fidelity Vice President of Public Affairs Fran Eichorst.

Teach For America Week draws community leaders nationwide to support educational excellence for all children. These individuals visit the classrooms of Teach For America teachers, also known as corps members, and teach lessons based on their experience in business, politics, and beyond. An annual event since 1997, Teach For America Week will take place in 30 regions across the country in 2010.

“We’re excited about the broad range of leaders participating in Teach For America Week this year,” said Charles Glover, executive director of Teach For America in Dallas. “By sharing their expertise in classrooms across Dallas, these accomplished individuals will make a lasting impression on hundreds of students and help to focus attention on the importance of providing all children with the educational opportunities they deserve.”

As part of Teach For America Week, Mrs. Laura W. Bush will teach in Heather Holland’s class at Nancy Cochran Elementary School on Tuesday, April 6. Holland, a Dallas native who graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, is in her first year of teaching.

Teach For America is the national corps of top recent college graduates who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to expand educational opportunity. Teach For America’s network includes 7,300 corps members teaching in 35 regions and a national force of 17,000 alumni at the forefront of efforts to end educational inequity.

This year—Teach For America’s first in Dallas—94 corps members are reaching more than 7,000 students in the city’s underserved schools while some 100 alumni are working from every sector to level the playing field for students and families in low-income communities.

A growing body of rigorous research demonstrates the effectiveness of Teach For America corps members as classroom teachers. A 2008 Urban Institute study updated last year found that corps members have a positive effect on student achievement relative to other teachers, including experienced teachers, traditionally prepared teachers, and those fully certified in their field. An earlier study by Mathematica Policy Research found that students of corps members make 10 percent more progress in a year in math than is typically expected and slightly exceed the normal expectation for progress in reading.

Participating Schools:

Herbert Marcus Elementary School

Nancy Cochran Elementary School

Raul Quintanilla, Sr. Middle School

Thomas C. Marsh Middle School

W.W. Samuel High School

Schedule of confirmed guest teachers:

Monday, April 5

David Buggs, Chief Diversity Officer, FedEx Office

Kim Spight, Sales Manager, FedEx Services

Tuesday, April 6

Laura W. Bush

Fran Eichorst, Vice President, Public Affairs, Fidelity

Thursday, April 8

Yasmin Bhatia, CEO, Uplift Education

Jeff Heyman, Vice President, FedEx Office

Michael Hinojosa, Superintendent, Dallas Independent School District

William McKenzie, Columnist, Dallas Morning News

Brian Philips, President and CEO, FedEx Office