One of the weird things about Teach for America is that it isn't like an alternative program for people who don't want to graduate school at all. I'd love to see statistics for what percentage of TFA'ers go on to get MBA's, law degrees, advanced degrees in education. I bet it is a pretty high percentage. It is just a program who don't want to get professional training before they go teach kids for three years.
Also, it is not like there aren't high quality teacher education programs at prestigious schools. There just aren't prestigious teacher education programs. As far as I know, the year to year size of the Biology teaching program at Brown is primarily bound by the number of qualified applicants the get, which is often like, FIVE. Or SEVEN.
We had a lot of sharp, ambitious interesting people in my class at Brown, but there were also a lot of people like me who had somewhat checkered academic pasts. I certainly couldn't have gotten into any other graduate program at Brown. And I never, in a million years, would have been accepted into Teach for America. I wouldn't have gotten an interview. They wouldn't have even talked to me. They'd be like, "Could you put that flyer back down without spindling it so someone worthy might still be able to use it?"