Teachers for Chicago
Founded in 1991 through a partnership of the Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Teachers Union, Golden Apple Foundation and area teachers colleges.
The selection process
Initial screening: 800 to 1,000 people apply each year; they are evaluated on the basis of their transcripts and personal essays.
Final screening: Remaining applicants are screened through the Martin Haberman interview process, with 100 being chosen.
The first summer, participants are required to take a 45-hour urban teaching course that seeks to prepare them for the conditions they will face.
In groups of four, they are assigned to Chicago public schools, where they teach for two years under the guidance of a mentor selected from the school’s faculty. They are each paid about $100 a day and receive tuition reimbursement and health insurance.
For the next two years, participants attend classes at night, on weekends and over the summer to obtain master’s degrees in education and state certification.
Upon certification, participants must teach in the system for at least two years as part of a pay-back agreement.
For more information, call Frank Tobin, recruitment coordinator for Teachers for Chicago, (773) 535-7112.
Golden Apple Teacher Education
Founded in 1997 by the Golden Apple Foundation following adoption of a state law permitting alternative certification to teach in Chicago’s public schools.
The selection process
Initial screening: GATE developed a database of 2,700 individuals who contacted the foundation, CPS and the Illinois Board of Education, mostly based on news coverage and word-of-mouth referrals. About 700 of them subsequently requested a formal application to the program. When those are received, Northwestern University will screen them, looking specifically for the best matches for math and science classrooms. Then, using applicants’ essays and letters of recommendation, the Foundation will come up with 75 finalists.
Final screening: The Martin Haberman interview process will be used to select 36 recruits from the 75 finalists.
The future: GATE will recruit in the military and place ads in publications read by scientists and mathematicians. Other areas of specialty, such as special education and middle schools, will be added eventually.
For eight weeks over the summer, participants will follow this regimen: Teaching with a mentor teacher in CPS classrooms four mornings a week, taking classes from the mentors two afternoons a week and taking classes from Northwestern faculty members two afternoons a week. On the fifth day, they will take classes taught alternately by Northwestern faculty and the mentors.
In the fall, participants will be placed in regular classrooms for the entire academic year; they will teach one period by themselves, two periods with at least one other new teacher and two periods with a school-designated mentor teacher.
As a result of legislation passed by the General Assembly last year, they can earn a Chicago teaching license in 15 months.
For more information, call Dominic Belmonte, director of teacher preparation for the Golden Apple Foundation, (312) 407-0006.