Each day we see the realities of educational inequity juxtaposed against the concrete evidencethat when students in low-income communitiesare given opportunities they deserve, they excel.

Contact: Emily Del Pino | Teach For America
212-279-2080 x619 | emily.delpino@teachforamerica.org

For Immediate Release


More Than 5,000 Top Graduates Fuel the Organization’s Mission
to End Educational Inequity

NEW YORK, August 15, 2007—Teach For America today announced that its largest-ever corps, more than 5,000 teachers, will lead classrooms in 26 urban and rural regions across the country this school year. Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in underserved public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity. This fall, 2,900 new corps members will join more than 2,100 returning teachers, impacting the lives of nearly 440,000 students and working to end educational inequity.

This fall also marks the addition of Denver to the regions in which Teach For America places its corps members. Teach For America will assign approximately 60 corps members to teach in Denver public schools, reaching nearly 5,000 local students.

“Teach For America has worked for 17 years with our school and community partners to recruit, train, and support outstanding teachers, and together we have had a positive impact on the lives of nearly 3 million students,” said Matt Kramer, Teach For America’s president and chief program officer. “Educational inequity is a large and complex problem that demands the talent of a diverse group of our nation’s most promising future leaders. Enlisting the largest Teach For America corps ever is an exciting and historic step in our plan to ensure that one day all children in this nation have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.”

This year’s corps members were chosen from a pool of more than 18,000 applicants from some of the country’s most respected colleges and universities, including 11 percent of the senior classes at Amherst and Spelman; 10 percent of those at University of Chicago and Duke; and more than eight percent of the graduating seniors at Notre Dame, Princeton and Wellesley. Among the 2007 applicants were the student body presidents of Bowdoin, Spelman, Wellesley and Tufts; the president of the senior class at the College of the Holy Cross; and the presidents of the student and class councils at Brown and George Washington universities, respectively.

The size of this year’s Teach For America corps represents a 19.5 percent increase over the 2006 corps. The 2007 recruitment season also marks the highest-ever rate of matriculation into Teach For America of accepted applicants, with nearly 80 percent of admitted candidates joining the corps. Members of the 2007 corps earned an average GPA of 3.6, received an average SAT score of 1321, and nearly all (93 percent) held leadership positions on their campuses.

“The substantial increase in the size of this year’s Teach For America corps indicates that, even in a strong job market, there is no shortage of exceptional young men and women who are committed to ending educational inequity,” said Elissa Clapp, senior vice president of recruitment for Teach For America. “Teach For America has exceptionally high standards for the corps members we recruit, and we are encouraged by the significant number of candidates with the proven leadership qualities that will position them to help their students achieve academic success.”

The diversity of Teach For America’s corps also remained consistently high, with 27 percent of the incoming corps identifying as people of color. Moreover, the organization saw a 31 percent growth in the number of African-American corps members and 17 percent growth in the number of Latino/Hispanic corps members. As part of Teach For America’s ongoing commitment to recruiting a diverse group of leaders with the characteristics and skills necessary to advance its mission, the organization piloted new techniques to recruit more applicants of color. During the 2007 recruitment season, four Teach For America regions hosted prospective applicants of color for two days of classroom visits and meetings with corps members, alumni, regional staff, and local supporters. Teach For America also increased its recruiting efforts at seven of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities, where the number of applicants rose 119 percent.

With its increased corps size, Teach For America is on track to reach the ambitious goals set forth in its 2010 growth plan—in particular, to place 7,500 teachers in more than 30 regions by 2010. As part of this plan, Teach For America will continue its efforts to increase the diversity of its corps, maximize the positive impact its corps members have on student achievement, and foster the leadership of its alumni as a force for change in education.

About Teach For America
Teach For America is the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in expanding educational opportunity. This year, more than 5,000 corps members are teaching in over 1,000 schools in 26 regions across the country, and more than 12,000 Teach For America alumni continue working from inside and outside the field of education for the fundamental changes necessary to ensure educational excellence and equity. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org.