Target: Dr. Nick Ehrmann, CEO of Blue Engine
Goal: Thank Blue Engine for training volunteers to make a difference for low-income children
Teach for America, the national organization which enlists young adults to teach in low-income communities, is the center of controversy. Critics state its method of parachuting fresh-faced recent college graduates into schools in impoverished neighborhoods does little to help the children there. This is because its volunteers, committed as they are, still lack teaching experience and have only a short term of up to two years. Though Teach for America’s idea of recruiting idealistic youth to help solve the problem of educational inequality is a good one, how can the model be refined?
Nick Ehrmann, founder of the nonprofit Blue Engine, may have the solution. Blue Engine pairs recent college graduates, called BETAs, into apprenticeship with math and English teachers. The goal here is to give the prospective teachers experience partnering with a professional, as well as assist children who are at least two grade levels below where they should be. Multiple BETAs are placed into classes, enabling more direct student-to-teacher interaction.
Though the program is still small and only operational in New York City, it is having a remarkable impact. Vanessa Romo, writing for TakePart, noted “last year, the three schools employing BETAs nearly tripled the number of students who met the “college ready” standard in algebra, geometry, or English language arts, from 49 to 140.”
Blue Engine’s model represents an innovative approach that can make a difference both for schoolchildren and its young volunteers. Recent college graduates who are considering a career in teaching have the opportunity to work with an experienced instructor, and are able to help children without facing the pressure of having to organize an entire class. It represents a new approach that builds on Teach for America’s strengths while addressing its weaknesses. By signing this petition, you will thank Nick Ehrmann for his work in starting Blue Engine.
Dear Dr. Ehrmann,
I am writing to think you for the work you are doing with Blue Engine. Your nonprofit provides a unique model for recent college graduates to enter the teaching field while making a difference in the lives of children.
As you know Teach for America, the largest national organization recruiting prospective instructors, is facing controversy over its effectiveness. Critics including former volunteers have noted that while Teach for America has good aims of giving idealistic young adults teaching experience through working with low-income schoolchildren, it does not provide a stable solution to educational inequality. This is because those volunteers are only active for two years, and face the burden of running an entire classroom.
This is where Blue Engine comes in. Through partnering idealistic volunteers with established teaching professionals, you address these faults. Volunteers have the opportunity to assist an experienced instructor in organizing and supervising a classroom, as well as have meaningful interactions with students. Though your organization is only in its fourth year of operation, its efforts are already having an impact. Vanessa Romo, writing for TakePart, noted “last year, the three schools employing BETAs nearly tripled the number of students who met the “college ready” standard in algebra, geometry, or English language arts, from 49 to 140.”
Thank you for your work in enriching the educations of both young adults and schoolchildren.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Blue Engine via Facebook