Left Out of No Child Left Behind: Teach for America’s Outsized Influence on Alternative Certification

Russo argues that it was primarily luck that TFA was able to escape the No Child Left Behind process unscathed. After that scare, TFA recognized that it would do well to engage policymakers more systematically and aggressively so it could pursue federal funding, expand to new locales, and retain flexibility around teacher certification. Russo draws key lessons from TFA’s experience with NCLB, specifically that future reform groups should try to get their programs in early during relevant debates on the Hill, that the cultivation of bipartisan support is necessary for their bills to pass, and finally that these reform groups must learn to build coalitions in support of their favored legislation.

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