Maybe Bruce Friedrich raised the lesson-plan issue because he was so out of sync with the recent college graduates who were the other Teach for America instructors at his Baltimore high school, says Jay Mathews, columnist for the Washington Post. He was 40. He had switched to education after first running a homeless shelter and then working for animal rights. He thought it was odd that despite the forward-looking reputation of the Baltimore district and Teach for America, beginning teachers had to construct their lessons from scratch, as they have done for centuries. They were shown samples of the state tests their students would have to take. They were told where they might find good material. But as rookies, they had little idea which of a million possible options would work…

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