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Ninety-Four Percent of Principals Agree That Teach For America Corps Members Have a Positive Impact on Students

Teach For America Sees Record Levels of Satisfaction from Principals in Biennial National Principal Survey

August 31, 2021

NEW YORK, August 31, 2021 — Ninety-four percent of principals who employ Teach For America corps members agree that they have a positive impact on students, according to a report published today by Westat.

The report is the culmination of Teach For America’s biennial National Principal Survey, in which independent research firm Westat administered a survey to 2,047 principals who employed Teach For America teachers, known as corps members, during the 2020-2021 school year. The survey had a 60% response rate, with more than 1,220 principals sharing their feedback. 

While Teach For America has consistently seen positive results from the National Principal Survey, the 2021 survey findings are the strongest results that the organization has seen in the last decade. In addition to agreeing that Teach For America corps members are effective in the classroom, principals also agreed that corps members are positive contributors to their school communities and indicated that they are satisfied with the training and support that Teach For America provides its corps members. Principals are also highly satisfied with the Teach For America alumni teachers working in their schools.

“During such a deeply challenging school year, this positive feedback from principals across the country affirms the vital role that Teach For America corps members and alumni play in supporting students to learn, lead, and thrive,” said Teach For America CEO Elisa Villanueva Beard. “Principals have unique perspectives on teachers’ contributions to their school communities, offering valuable insights and expertise as we continue to refine and improve our approach to teacher training and support.”

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report found that corps members played a critical role in helping their schools shift from in-person to virtual learning, with 87% of principals reporting that corps members supported this shift.

"Corps members at my school have demonstrated a lot of flexibility in how they responded to student needs during virtual learning. They've done a great job of connecting with students and families and making sure that kids have what they need to stay focused on learning," said Benjamin Davis, Principal of Rosenwald Collegiate Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The key findings from the survey include:

  • Principal satisfaction with corps members and alumni is very high.
    • 94% of principals indicated that they were satisfied with corps members at their schools, up from 88% in 2019.
    • 98% of principals were satisfied with the capacity and contributions of Teach For America alumni in their schools.
  • Principals view corps members as positive contributors to their school community.
    • 95% agreed that corps members fit well into their school culture.
    • 93% agreed that they contribute to a positive, collaborative professional culture at their school.
    • 87% of principals reported that corps members supported school-wide virtual learning efforts to “some” or “a great” extent.
  • Principals are satisfied with TFA’s training and support.
    • 92% of principals indicated that they were satisfied with the training and support provided by TFA to corps members.
  • Principals see value in hiring corps members.
    • 91% of principals would hire a corps member in the future, up from 85% in 2019.
    • 93% would recommend hiring a TFA corps member to a fellow school leader, up from 87% in 2019. 

For nearly 25 years, Teach For America has used the biennial National Principal Survey to hear directly from partners about their experiences with TFA corps members and alumni. The survey results inform Teach For America’s approach to recruiting, training, and supporting corps members and alumni. This year’s survey was administered between March and June of 2021. The previous survey was published in 2019.

Download a PDF of the press release


About Teach For America

Teach For America works in partnership with 350 urban and rural communities across the country to expand educational opportunity for children. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders who make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today, Teach For America is a force of over 64,000 alumni and corps members working in over 9,000 schools nationwide in pursuit of profound systemic change. From classrooms to districts to state houses across America, they are reimagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, lead, thrive, and co-create a future filled with possibility. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Lindsay Kelly