Research Partnerships

Who We Are
The Research Partnerships team at Teach For America cultivates new independent research about our organization's work, serves as a clearinghouse for key organizational statistics, and collaborates with staff around the discussion of research related matters, both about Teach For America and the broader education reform movement.

Commitment to Research
Teach For America believes it is important to evaluate our impact on the students, schools, and the communities we serve. Statistics and research are used to inform key programmatic decisions, communicate with stakeholders, report to funders, and ensure compliance with federal grant requirements. We welcome, support, and pursue rigorous, independent evaluations of our corps members, alumni, staff, and the organization as a whole.

Research Agenda
In addition to newer initiatives around Special Education (SPED), Early Childhood Education (ECE), and Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM), Research Partnerships has set an explicit research agenda around the following assertions:

  1. TFA is a continuously improving organization.
  2. TFA provides a lens on the importance of selectivity.
  3. Corps members and alumni bend the opportunity curve for low-income children, directly and indirectly.
  4. Corps members, alumni, and staff show fidelity to the mission—to eliminate educational inequity—in patterns of service among institutions serving low-income children.
  5. Corps members and alumni pursue ambitious opportunities to lead at scale.
  6. In identity and practice, corps members, alumni, and staff embody the notion that diversity among those serving low-income children matters.

Partner with Us
If your institution is interested in conducting research furthering any of these agenda items or special initiatives, please refer to the Guidelines for Conducting Research in Partnership with Teach For America and begin the process by completing the Preliminary Research Inquiry form. Once you complete this online form, your Research Partnerships contact will be in touch with you regarding next steps. For questions, please email research@teachforamerica.org.

Existing Research
A growing body of rigorous independent research continues to reveal that Teach For America corps members promote student achievement in measures equal and sometimes greater than non-Teach For America teachers in the same schools, whether the comparison groups are traditionally certified, alternatively certified, veteran educators, or new to the classroom. A recently released study from Mathematica Policy Research found that corps members teaching in elementary grades, who averaged less than two years of experience, were as effective as other teachers in the same schools, who typically had nearly 14 years of experience. Among teachers in pre-K through second grade classrooms, the Mathematica study found that Teach For America corps members increased students' reading scores by an amount equal to 1.3 additional months of instruction. This research complements a previous study conducted by Mathematica that found corps members who taught high school math boosted student learning by the equivalent of 2.6 months of additional learning. To read a comprehensive summary about these and other research studies, download our summary of What The Research Says on Teach For America. For a more concise summary of independent research conducted about Teach For America in the last five years, refer to this 2-page summary.

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