We believe it is important to encourage and share independent research to evaluate our impact and promote continuous improvement. On this page you will find a summary of current research on Teach For America.
Corps Member Impact
Teach For America corps members help their students achieve academic gains equal to or larger than teachers from other preparation programs, according to the most recent and rigorous studies on teacher effectiveness.
Teach For America has nearly 28,000 alumni, including some of the most influential and effective advocates in the effort to expand educational opportunity. More founders and top leaders of entrepreneurial education organizations started their careers with Teach For America than anywhere else.
What the Research Says
Statewide Studies of Teacher Effectiveness
Teach For America is among the most effective sources of new teachers in low-income communities, according to studies about the impact of different teacher-preparation programs in Louisiana (PDF), North Carolina, and Tennessee. Each of these statewide studies, conducted between 2009 and 2012, found that corps members often help their students achieve academic gains at rates equal to or larger than those for students of more veteran teachers.
National Impact Evaluations
In 2010, Teach For America received one of the largest grants out of nearly 1,700 applications to the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) competition. The i3 scale-up grants required applicants to provide evidence of promoting meaningful student achievement, based on objective, methodologically sound studies. Committed to ongoing evaluations, Teach For America is using a portion of the grant for a national randomized study—research methodology widely regarded as the gold standard—of our developmental training model. In 2004, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. (PDF), found that students of Teach For America corps members made at least as much progress in reading as would be expected and attained significantly greater gains in math compared with students of other teachers, including veteran and certified teachers.
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. is also in the process of conducting an experimental study on the impact on secondary student math achievement of teachers trained through highly selective routes to alternative certification, such as Teach For America and The New Teacher Project.
For the past 16 years, Teach For America has commissioned independent, external surveys of school leaders who manage corps members. The results of these surveys validate research about our classroom impact. In 2011, for example, nearly 90% of 1,824 principals in all of our partnership regions reported high levels of satisfaction with Teach For America and noted that corps members are as effective as, and in some cases more effective than, veteran faculty in their schools.
In addition, 87% of school leaders said Teach For America corps members’ training is at least as effective as the training of other beginning teachers, and 53% found corps members’ training to be more effective.
Alumni Leadership and Our Impact Beyond the Classroom
Teach For America works to ensure that our corps members become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity. After more than 20 years, our network of nearly 24,000 alumni includes some of the nation’s most influential and effective advocates for children and students. A 2011 study by researchers from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Education Next concluded that more founders and top leaders of entrepreneurial education organizations started their careers with Teach For America than anywhere else.
Another 2011 Harvard University study found that Teach For America strengthens participants’ conviction in the academic potential of all children regardless of income level or race, and increases racial tolerance among participants across all racial groups. In addition, the experience increases the likelihood that participants will pursue a career in the education sector.
Download a summary of current independent research about Teach For America (PDF).
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out how transformational leaders contribute to Teach For America’s mission.
Learn about our mission »
Stay informed about the latest news on Teach For America and the state of education reform in the country.
Read the latest national news »
WHERE WE WORK
Learn about the 46 communities nationwide where our corps members, alumni, and staff members work together to reach educational equity.
Check out our regions and the corps members, alumni, and supporters who live there »
VOICES OF TEACH FOR AMERICA
Hear from our community of corps members, alumni, staff members, and supporters. Be part of our interactive gallery by creating a profile.
Meet us »