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Welcoming in the 2023-24 School Year

By Elisa Villanueva Beard

October 2, 2023

As we have begun a new school year, I hope things are off to a strong start for all of you who are working every day to transform policy, practice, and culture so that all students can learn, lead and thrive. I am writing to share a few reflections and resources with you as we continue our collective efforts to create the world as it should be for every child.

As I travel around the country visiting the communities in which we work, I am reminded again and again of the power of this network to stay centered in what is possible, bringing joy into each classroom and holding high expectations and rigor while staying centered in the humanity of every child. This fall, we welcomed an incoming corps of more than 2,200 teachers into our network who are committed to being part of the solution to provide every child the education they want and deserve. I can’t wait to see all that we will accomplish together this year, as each of us channels our leadership toward one of the most important social issues of our time.

We all know this moment in history is filled with challenges. Inequities in our education system that persisted before the pandemic have only deepened. On too many critical elements of well-beingacademic, social, emotionalour students are letting us know they need our support. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to these problems, I know that you and every member of our networkhave an important role to play, whether inside or outside a school building. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment and I know we will collectively rise to meet it for the students, families, and communities we partner with as we accelerate our collective efforts to reinvent our education system.

At Teach For America, we are in the midst of evolving to maximize our impact with students, and we are starting to see these efforts bear fruit. Our 2023 corps is nearly 40% larger than last year’s, and just as diverse, and three recent external evaluations of our teachers have added to the body of research showing TFA’s consistently positive impact on student outcomes. Meanwhile, our Ignite Tutoring Fellowship has expanded to more than 1,000 tutors reaching 2,700 students–with 96% of schools reporting positive impact on students’ academic growth and 96% of students reporting that their fellows taught them in the way they learn best. 

And we’re continuing to develop ways to support youand all alumniand to provide new opportunities for you to support the next generation of corps members and alums. I encourage you to visit our Alumni Hub to learn about our latest offerings.

This year, our network grows to more than 70,000 leaders committed to expanding opportunity for all students. The diversity, creativity, and drive of this community is steadfast in advancing toward One Day. 

Thank you for the role you play in the pursuit for educational equity and excellence. It is an honor to do this work alongside you. 

All my best,

Elisa Villanueva Beard

Chief Executive Officer

Phoenix ‘98