Saturday, October 15, 2011

VOA News: Deborah Block- 'Teach For America Program Serves Rural, Low Income Schools'

Source:VOA News- teacher Natasha Alfer.

"Voice of America (VOA) is an American international broadcaster funded by the United States Congress. It is the largest[1][2][3] and oldest U.S. funded international broadcaster.[4][5] VOA produces digital, TV, and radio content in 47 languages which it distributes to affiliate stations around the globe. It is primarily viewed by foreign audiences, so VOA programming has an influence on public opinion abroad regarding the United States and its people.

VOA was established in 1942,[6] and the VOA charter (Public Laws 94-350 and 103-415)[7] was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford.

VOA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and overseen by the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), an independent agency of the U.S. government.[8] Funds are appropriated annually under the budget for embassies and consulates. In 2016, VOA broadcast an estimated 1,800 hours of radio and TV programming each week to approximately 236.6 million people worldwide with about 1,050 employees and a taxpayer-funded annual budget of US$218.5 million.[9][10]

Some commentators consider Voice of America to be a form of propaganda." 

From Wikipedia 

"A shortage of teachers in the United States means it has become difficult to get teachers to work in rural and low income urban areas.  Teach for America, a non-profit organization, is helping to fill the gap. It recruits recent college graduates and young professionals to teach in those areas for two years.  VOA's Deborah Block visited a school in Washington, where a woman who used to work for an investment firm is now a teacher." 

From VOA News

Anything that we can do as a country through the public as well as private sectors to encourage more well- educated people to teach and teach in under-served Communities, we should be doing. And thats what this program is about, encouraging more good educators to teach in under-served communities, urban and rural so those students can have a shot at getting a good education as well. 

We need a public education System thats not based on how much money your parents make that determines whether you can get a good education or not, but based on how well the students do themselves in school. We should give all of our students a shot at a good education and then see what they can do with because right now our public education system is funded through property taxes. 

The schools are funded based on the property tax in that community and how much the property's are worth. So if a student lives in a middle class or an upper class community, chances are they are going to be able to go to a good school and the educators there are even well-paid because that community has the resources it needs to have good schools. 

If a student lives in a low-income community (urban or rural) chances are they aren't going to be able to go to a good school, because that community won't have the resources it needs to have enough good schools. 

Money is not a magic bullet in education, but it's definitely a bullet thats needed to have good schools. So what the Teach For America Program does, is encourages good teachers to teach in these under-served communities that doesn't have enough resources have enough good educators for all of their students. So thats a good step and reform. 

We also need things like more charter schools to give our students more choice in where they get their education. As well as public school choice, so our students aren't forced to go to a school based on where they live. 

We also need some type of system that would allow us to equalize the funding of our public schools, that would help make up the difference financially between upper and middle class communities, with low- income communities that would provide additional resources for under-served schools so they have the resources that they need to do a good job. And then all of our students would have a good shot at getting a good education in America no matter what community they live or if they go to a public or private school. 

With as bad as the economy is and as bad of shape our fiscal situation is right now and will be in the future, if we don't address it properly, now is the best time to reform our public education system, so we can have the best schools possible to produce as many well-qualified workers as possible. So when we finally get the economy going we'll have enough workers for those job and keep more good jobs in America.

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