Teach For America is a community of change makers and coalition-builders. Leaders who teach, and teachers who lead. From classrooms to districts to state houses across America, we’re reimagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, grow, influence and lead.
Teach For America’s Impact
Teach For America has a 28-year track record of advancing educational excellence and equity in the United States through our network of remarkable and diverse leaders working to expand opportunity and access for all children. With nearly 60,000 alumni and corps members in 51 regions around the country, our network now includes 14,000 teachers; 3,700 school principals, assistant principals, and deans; more than 300 school system leaders; 500 policy and advocacy leaders; nearly 200 elected leaders; and almost 200 social entrepreneurs. And while only one in five Teach For America corps members had plans to teach before applying to TFA, 85% of alumni are now working in education or careers serving low-income communities.
“Looking back, we know that this was never just about two years. From wherever we are, we fight for an uncompromising belief in every child, because we've seen their potential come alive in our classrooms.”
Elisa Villanueva Beard
Achieving Student Progress
Teach For America is one of the largest and most studied teacher-preparation and educational-leadership development organizations in the country. In 2016, What Works Clearinghouse published a review of seven independent research studies on the effectiveness of TFA corps members. This review—which looked at more than 65,000 students across multiple states—concluded that TFA corps members have positive effects on student outcomes, especially in math and science.
A Leading Teacher Preparation Pathway
State-wide studies of the relative effectiveness of teacher education programs—in Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee—consistently place Teach For America at or near the top in terms of participants’ effects on student academic outcomes. Over the years more than 1,000 Teach For America alumni and corps members have been named Teacher of the Year in their states, districts and schools.
Driving Student Outcomes
A “gold standard” study commissioned from Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. by the U.S. Department of Education in 2015 found that students of Teach For America teachers learned 2.6 months more mathematics in a year than students in the same schools taught by teachers from traditional preparation programs or less selective alternative route programs. The study also found that students of corps members in pre-K through second grade outperformed their peers in reading by the equivalent of an additional 1.3 months of learning.
Nurturing Student Investment
Corps members work to build relationships with students and engage and invest their families. According to a 2015 study published by the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, students taught by TFA teachers in elementary and middle school were less likely to miss school because of unexcused absences and suspensions than students taught by non-TFA teachers in the same school.
Principals agree that corps members contribute to a positive, collaborative professional culture
Principals reported corps members build strong relationships within their school community
Fueling an Exceptional, Diverse Talent Pipeline
Our leadership pipeline is helping schools fill critical, hard-to-staff roles, including more than 2,000 STEM teachers and more than 1,000 special education teachers in 2017. In addition to being the largest source of educators serving schools in low-income communities, Teach For America is the talent pipeline that most closely reflects the demographics of children attending public schools. Half of our corps members identify as people of color, half come from a low-income background, and one-third are first generation college graduates.
Through their experience, Teach For America corps members come to identify with their students. According to a recent study, Teach For America alumni, throughout their years of service, gain a greater understanding of how societal injustices like educational inequity harm disadvantaged and low-income communities, and they display less class- and race-based resentment than peers who did not join the corps.
Pioneering and Strengthening Schools
Teach For America alumni have blazed new paths as founders of YES Prep, KIPP, IDEA Public Schools, Rocketship, and Citizens of the World Charter Schools, to name a few. Today 3,700 Teach For America alumni are principals, assistant principals, and deans leading schools across the country. They are running high performing schools, helping turn around low-performing schools, launching new schools, growing existing networks, and some are working to reimagine school entirely.
A recent analysis of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) student growth data gives a window into the impact of TFA alumni school leaders. It shows that charter management organizations with TFA alum school leaders achieved 84 additional days of learning and 52 additional days of math beyond what students’ prior test scores would predict.
“I saw the seemingly insurmountable obstacles for kids growing up in poverty and decided to commit my life to breaking down those obstacles.”Matt WestmorelandTFA AlumMetro Atlanta 2010
Powering Innovation in Education
Hundreds of Teach For America alumni are founding and leading social ventures with children and families at the center, fueling change in classrooms, schools, and beyond.
A 2011 study by researchers from Harvard Graduate School of Education and the American Enterprise Institute concluded that more founders and top leaders of entrepreneurial education organizations started their careers with Teach For America than anywhere else.
In the last 5 years alone, 42 TFA alumni have been named to Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
Some of our past Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Social Innovation Award winners include:
T. Morgan Dixon
Metro Atlanta '00
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer
T. Morgan Dixon (Metro Atlanta '00) is the co-founder and director of GirlTrek, a national movement to activate one million Black women to be change makers in their lives and communities—by walking in their neighborhoods.
New York '06
Executive Director & Co-Founder
School Justice Project
Claire Blumenson is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of School Justice Project (SJP), a DC-based nonprofit organization providing special education legal services to older court-involved students with disabilities.
Chicago-Northwest Indiana '09
Education in Sight
Education in Sight’s co-founder George Dong (Chicago ’09) says that spending time in rural China opened his eyes to the fact that rural and underserved students also suffer from uncorrected vision problems that drastically affect their learning outcomes.