Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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January 3, 2013

Va. Governor backs 'Teach for America' in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Gov. Bob McDonnell wants Virginia to take advantage of a national program that puts young teachers in hard-to-staff schools.

McDonnell said Thursday that he will ask the General Assembly to pass legislation bringing the Teach for America program to Virginia's public schools starting this fall.

The nonprofit program is a sort of Peace Corps for education. College graduates in fields other than education agree to teach in struggling schools for two years before moving on to other careers. McDonnell says the program has helped close the so-called "achievement gap" between students of different ethnic, racial and socio-economic backgrounds in other states.

The governor announced several other education proposals. One would change school accountability report cards to an easy-to-understand A to F grading system. Another would give schools more staffing flexibility.

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