Kristof: Teach for the World Can Expand US Development Constituency

Pulitzer Prize-winning Nicholas Kristof took to his New York Times blog to defend the merits of Teach for the World, which he proposed in his March 11 column. His proposal, he said, garnered comments and criticisms, inviting questions as to the need for the program instead of giving more support to expand the Peace Corps.

According to Kristof, Teach for the World is not designed to promote cost-effective education interventions but it can grow constituency for development in the U.S., which the Peace Corps helped build.

“While Peace Corps volunteers have much more impact on poor countries than Teach for the World volunteers would, it’s certainly also true that PC volunteers benefit much more than their communities do from the experience. PC volunteers are transformed, the villages are improved,” he said. “Peace Corps alumni have had their biggest impact not on foreign villages, but on the American aid community; just this week I spoke at the Center for Global Development, and I was amazed to see how many people in the audience were PC alums. So Teach for the World could expand that constituency for development.”

About the author

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    Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino is an associate editor for Devex and leads the company's news team in Manila. She played a critical role in conceptualizing the Development Newswire. Prior to joining Devex in 2004, she has already published articles and news briefs for Internet media organizations and for the Institute for Ethics and Economic Policy at Fordham University in New York. She earned her bachelor's in political science and master's in public affairs from the University of the Philippines. Eliza is a member of Mensa Philippines.