Evaluation Shows Students of TFA-Affiliated Teachers As Likely or More Likely to Pass Texas STAAR Assessment Than Students of Comparable Non-TFA-Affiliated Teachers
Results from Southern Methodist University’s Center on Research and Evaluation Consistent with Previous Assessments
DALLAS, TEXAS, January 22, 2024 - Southern Methodist University’s Center on Research and Evaluation released an independent evaluation of the impact of Teach For America (TFA) affiliated teachers across Texas (Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Rio Grande Valley, and San Antonio) showing that students of TFA-affiliated teachers were “as likely as” or “more likely” to pass the Texas STAAR assessment than students of non-TFA-affiliated teachers with comparable experience. The evaluation used teacher and student STAAR assessment data from between 2020 and 2022. The findings looked at both current Teach For America educators, known as corps members, as well as educators who are alumni of the Teach For America program.
“I know that our teachers have a positive impact with Texas students, so it is encouraging to see data that so clearly shows that TFA teachers are making sure that their students are reaching key milestones, meeting state standards, and are on the path to futures filled with possibility,” said Robert Carreon, Vice President of Texas Public Affairs at Teach For America. “This most recent evaluation, and its previous two iterations, point to over a decade of research on the efficacy of Teach For America corps members and alumni educators across the state of Texas. It is particularly encouraging that our educators’ impact remained despite the challenges facing both students and teachers throughout the pandemic. We look forward to continuing to research and evolve our program to best meet the needs of students.”
Other key findings include:
- Students of TFA teachers receive the overall greatest benefit in the high school-tested subjects.
- TFA alumni teachers in particular are consistently more effective than non-TFA teachers with similar years of experience.
- Black students, economically disadvantaged students, and students with limited English proficiency were more likely to meet standards when taught by TFA alumni in comparison to being taught by non-TFA teachers of similar experience. Black students were also more likely to meet standards when taught by a TFA corps member compared to being taught by a novice non-TFA teacher.
Results of this evaluation were consistent when compared to previous studies of Texas teachers using similar data. They’re also consistent with three other recent evaluations of TFA corps members and alumni in Miami, Indianapolis, and New York City which show that TFA teachers (corps members and alumni) are as effective or sometimes more effective in improving student academic achievement when compared to their non-TFA peers.
Teach For America has served Texas students since 1991. Currently, there are 500 Teach For America corps members serving in the state alongside 1,030 alumni educators and 320 Ignite high-dose tutors. In total, there are 5,800 current and former members of the Teach For America program living and working in the Lonestar state.
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities across the country to expand educational opportunities for children. Founded in 1990, Teach For America finds, develops, and supports a diverse network of leaders who expand opportunity for children from classrooms, schools, and every sector and field that shapes the broader systems in which schools operate. Today, Teach For America is a force of nearly 70,000 alumni, corps members, Ignite fellows, and staff working in pursuit of profound systemic change so that one day 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 www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.