National Nonprofit Joins Local Efforts to Expand Educational Opportunity

For Immediate Release

Contact: Rebecca Neale | Teach For America
202.906.9207 | rebecca.neale@teachforamerica.org

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 27, 2012TeachFor Americaannounced today that it will expand to Sacramento, with plans to place an initial cohort of at least 15 credentialed teachers in the Natomas public school district and Capitol Collegiate and St. Hope charter networks for the 2012-13 school year. Teach For America corps members will enter the candidate pool for open teaching positions in high-need schools and subject areas. The organization launched the new site with support from civic, education, and business leaders across Northern and Central California.Sacramento is the state’s third Teach For America site, joining Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

"For me, as mayor, this is truly a remarkable milestone for the city. We've been advocating for Teach For America to come to Sacramento for the better part of a decade because we understand the energy and enthusiasm Teach For America corps members bring to a community,” said Mayor Johnson. “Our children will now have access to a new source of highly effective teachers who have only the highest expectations for their achievement. I very strongly believe that Teach For America can be the catalyst that we need to make Sacramento one of the most important cities nationally on the education-reform front."

Working in partnership with communities, Teach For America recruits, trains, and supports talented and diverse individuals from all backgrounds and academic majors who commit two years to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to expand educational opportunity. This year, more than 9,000 first- and second-year Teach For America corps members are teaching in low-income communities across 43 urban and rural regions nationwide. More than 1,300 of them grew up or attended school in California.

Teach For America is in the process of selecting its 2012 teacher corps from a record applicant pool of more than 48,000. Among this year’s applicants are more than 6,000 Californians, including 128 graduating seniors from Stanford University, 330 from the University of California-Berkeley and 149 from the University of California-Davis. In its 2011 corps of 5,100 first-year teachers, 34 percent are people of color, 31 percent received Pell Grants, 22 percent were the first in their family to attend college, and 23 percent were graduate students or professionals before joining Teach For America.

“We’re excited that corps members will join Sacramento’s dedicated educators, including many Teach For America alumni, who are working to provide life-changing opportunities in classrooms, schools, and neighborhoods across the city,” said Wendy Kopp, chief executive officer and founder of Teach For America. “It’s an honor to be part of such a community, and we’re grateful for the leadership of Mayor Johnson and school and district officials, and the generous support of Sacramento’s business and civic community, which will enable us to build on the city’s commitment to ensuring that all children receive the education they deserve.”

Teach For America’s network includes nearly 24,000 alumni across the country who are working from within education and every other professional sector to level the playing field for children and families in low-income communities. California is home to more than 3,700 Teach For America alumni. Nationally, two-thirds of alumni remain in education, including some 8,000 teachers and 650 principals and school leaders.

Partnerships with a coalition of community groups, local philanthropists, and local school leaders enabled Teach For America to join Sacramento’s efforts to expand educational opportunity. A broad base of supporters, including The Whitman-Harsh Family Foundation, AT&T, Bank of America, State Farm, Apollo Group, Inc., Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Roebbelen Contracting, Inc., and RDM Positive Impact invested in the recruitment, selection, training, and ongoing support of highly effective teachers for the region.

A growing body of independent research shows that corps members are having a positive impact on student achievement—including recent studies from Tennessee, North Carolina and Louisiana. The most recent research, from Tennessee, found that Teach For America corps members had greater impacts on student achievement than the average new fourth-to-eighth-grade teacher in the state across all subject areas and grade levels, and that Teach For America was the top new-teacher preparation program in the state. Additionally, in an independent survey by Policy Studies Associates, Inc., 85 percent of principals who employ Teach For America corps members reported that the corps members made a positive impact on their schools.

 

About Teach For America

Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding individuals of all academic disciplines to commit two years to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Today more than 9,000 corps members are teaching in 43 urban and rural regions across the country, while nearly 24,000 alumni are working across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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Additional Remarks from Supporters

“Natomas Unified School District truly looks forward to partnering with Teach For America as a resource to fill our open positions. Teach For America teachers bring innovation and energy to their classrooms, and a commitment to ensuring the academic success of all of their students.”Lisa Kaplan, President, Natomas Unified School District Board of Trustees

“I am excited about the talent we will draw from in selecting our new Teach For America teachers. Sacramento is a special place to live, and I know that the new teachers, from throughout the country, will be applying to work in Natomas.”—Dr. Walt Hanline, Superintendent, Natomas Unified School District

“Teach For America has an unmatched track record of bringing talented, diverse, driven leaders to the classrooms where they’re needed most. That’s just what the Sacramento Valley needs to make sure that every child is on track for success in college and careers. Thanks to collaborative leadership with Mayor Johnson and our partners in the school districts, we’re getting it done.”Christopher Cabaldon, Mayor, City of West Sacramento

“We are proud of our continued partnership with Teach For America and the expansion of their program to Sacramento. Our support of Teach For America is part of State Farm’s longstanding commitment to education and youth. We believe Teach For America is making a lasting contribution to the education of our young people and that contribution will mean future success for all of us, for years to come.”Bruce Johnson, Vice President of Agency, State Farm

“Today more than ever we must focus on providing our children with quality educators. I commend Teach For America in joining with the Sacramento community in guiding our youth to future success in the classroom. These well trained and enthusiastic instructors will bring about positive impacts in our region as they help our Sacramento students succeed.”Congressman Daniel E. Lungren

“Teach for America is a great pipeline for introducing new teachers to the field, and I congratulate those coming to Sacramento this fall. We need to make sure all children receive a quality education so that our nation continues to have the world’s best entrepreneurs and innovators to compete in the global economy.”—Congressman Mike Thompson