Education: Crusaders in The Classroom

Teach for America raises recruits, hopes and questions

The four rooms in a dormitory at the University of Southern California look like the field office of a political campaign. The hallway is cluttered with ( stacks of paper. Phones ring incessantly. Earnest young workers scurry from room to room.

A campaign it is, but an educational, not a political, one. This is the western headquarters of Teach for America, a radical attempt to woo promising graduates of the nation's top colleges into teaching. Whirlwind Wendy Kopp conceived the idea when she was an undergraduate at Princeton. She developed it in her senior thesis and, since her graduation in 1989,...

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