Luke Baldwin, a native of Horace, has joined Teach For America, the national corps of top recent college graduates who commit to teach for two years in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong advocates for educational equity. He will teach in South Dakota.
Baldwin is a 2005 graduate of West Fargo High School and a 2009 graduate of Concordia College-Moorhead .
He joins Teach For America's incoming corps of 4,100 teachers, the largest in its 20-year history. With a record 35,000 applications for the 2009 corps, only 15 percent were accepted. These outstanding recent college graduates were selected for their leadership abilities and strong record of achievement. The 2009 incoming corps members earned an average undergraduate GPA of 3.6, and 89% held leadership positions as undergraduates.
Each year, Teach For America attracts a significant percentage of graduates from the nation's top schools. This year, at more than 130 colleges and universities, over 5 percent of the senior class applied, including 11 percent of all seniors at Ivy League institutions. Teach For America was the No. 1 employer of graduating seniors at more than 20 schools, including Georgetown University, Spelman College and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Teach For America corps members go above and beyond traditional expectations to improve the educational outcomes of children growing up in low-income communities. "The most rigorous research to date finds that Teach For America corps members produce student learning gains as large or larger than other novice or experienced teachers in the same schools," said Michael J. Podgursky, a professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia who serves on the National Research Council study committee examining teacher preparation in the United States. In fact, a study by the Urban Institute updated in March 2009 confirmed that Teach For America teachers have a positive effect on student achievement relative to other teachers, including experienced teachers, traditionally prepared teachers, and those fully certified in their fields.
In the 2009-10 school year, over 7,300 first- and second-year Teach For America corps members will head to classrooms in 35 regions across the United States, including a record seven new sites: Boston; Dallas; Milwaukee; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Nashville, Tenn.; Tulsa, Okla.; and Wilmington, Del.
Beyond their corps commitments, two-thirds of the nearly 17,000 Teach For America alumni across the country are working full-time in education. Nearly 400 Teach For America alumni serve as school principals or superintendents, more than 500 work in government or policy, and 26 serve in elected office.
For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org.