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Giving back in Detroit.

An up close and personal look into teaching at urban schools is what future teachers will receive thanks to a new $6 million partnership between the Broad Foundation, Michigan State University and Detroit Public Schools. The partnership will make way to recruit, train, and place up to 750 new teachers in one of the nation's most challenged school districts.

Starting this summer, about 150 selected Detroit high school students will receive scholarships and loans to cover a five-year teacher preparation program at Michigan State before returning to Detroit schools as teachers.

"My commitment to this partnership is based on a clear-eyed look at the future--and the failure of our public schools to prepare our nation and our children for that future," says philanthropist and Detroit native Eli Broad.

Last year, a community think tank released survey results revealing that 40 percent of Detroit teachers said they were not well-prepared to deal with the needs and learning styles of children in urban environments. The initiative includes having Detroit high school sophomores and juniors attend a summer program at Michigan State to learn the importance of teaching. Once participants graduate from MSU, their student loans will be repaid, with the grant money, after teaching for four years.

As another part of the initiative, Michigan State teacher candidates will step into a seven-week summer fellowship in Detroit Public Schools to gain hands-on teaching experience in urban schools. "The students will gain practical experience in the challenges that face urban students," which are particularly linked to poverty, says Caesar Mickens, director of training and staff development for Detroit Public Schools. "All kids are eager to learn. The biggest issue is getting young teachers to really understand how the social component impacts the learning and being able to effectively teach in that environment.

Mickens hopes the program will provide a new model for schools of education. "Other areas have had pieces of this initiative, but having all of the pieces of the initiative integrated together is extremely powerful because you need to have a systemic approach," Mickens says. "I think that is what is lacking in many cases in educational environments. You don't have a continuous process."
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Title Annotation:Update: education news from schools, businesses, research and government agencies
Author:Rivard, Nicole
Publication:District Administration
Date:Feb 1, 2004
Previous Article:Coaching of a different kind.
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