A week after announcing that it plans to fund an initiative to pay New Haven kids’ way to college, Yale is shutting down its urban education teacher training program.
The program opened in 2005 and trained 20 teachers, 14 of whom are still teaching in local schools, free of cost as long as they committed to teaching for two years in New Haven’s public schools. The intense program offered teacher training and mentorship, and lots of classroom experience for young teachers. Many saw it as an important avenue for Yale to support New Haven’s public education system.
Tara Stevens, a graduate of the Yale program who still teaches in local schools, had harsh words for the school. “Yale has made the decision to avoid getting down and dirty with the problem. Instead, the university had decided to throw money at it, as though New Haven schools were a charity just waiting for Yale’s benevolence,” she wrote in an op-ed, the New Haven Register reported. The school said it is shuttering the program because of low enrollment.
Meanwhile, Yale’s New Haven Promise Initiative was kicked off to great fanfare last week. The school has dedicated $4 million yearly through 2014 to pay for local kids’ undergrad education if they go to a state school, or $2,500 a year if they go to a private college. Yale’s endowment is $16.7 billion.
For many, the new program does little to assuage the contentious relationship between the elite Ivy League school and the surrounding town of New Haven. Yale’s student paper commented that the Promise Initiative will likely do little to actually bring local students to the school.