Join a community of proud and passionate leaders transforming Washington’s educational landscape from the Greater Puget Sound to South Central Washington.
Washington’s robust, STEM-driven economy, is among the fastest growing in the nation. Amazon occupies more than 25 percent of Seattle’s downtown property and is one of the 10 most rapidly developing companies in the country. Facebook and Google have recently expanded their presence in the region, and anchor companies such as Boeing, Microsoft, Alaska Airlines, Starbucks, and Costco are thriving. The Yakima Valley boasts the world’s second largest hop industry, a growing wine industry, a powerful fruit growing community, and an expanding clean energy ecosystem.
Washington ranks 11th in the percentage of its residents who have earned a college degree. The University of Washington, currently ranked No. 13 in the world and No. 3 in public universities by the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities, is one of the oldest public universities on the West Coast and a cutting-edge research institution. Washington State University recently established a new medical school at the Spokane campus and Eastern, Central, and Western Washington Universities each provide diverse programs for local students. There are a plethora of private, community, and technical college options statewide—some of which, like Gonzaga University, Seattle University, Whitman University, the University of Puget Sound, and Whitworth University—offer top tier programs in diverse disciplines.
The reality in our state, however, is that while potential is evenly distributed across lines of race and class, access to opportunity is not, and is particularly limited for students of color and those growing up in poverty-impacted communities. Over 14 percent of Washington residents live in poverty and that number is significantly higher in urban and rural communities. Seattle has the third worst homeless crisis in the country and in the Yakima Valley the homeless rate is the highest it has been in a decade. Educational outcomes along the lines of race and class are pervasive in nearly all schools across the state and are particularly profound in many urban and rural communities. High school graduation rates are in the bottom third in the nation and fewer than half of Washington’s high school graduates go directly to college.
In essence, Washington is a deeply deceptively state whose boundless opportunity and natural beauty can often mask the deep inequities rooted within. Teach For America corps members play a critical role in eliminating educational inequity so that all children in this state can chase the dreams that are currently only available for some.
Washington’s opportunity gaps in math and science have not improved in over a decade and are the 12th worst in nation.
Washington ranks second in concentration of STEM jobs, but 34th in participation in STEM bachelor degree programs.
Black/African American and American Indian/Alaskan Native students are disciplined at more than twice the rate of white students.
The discipline rate for students with a low-income background is three times higher than for non low income students.
“It is incredible to be able to give back to my state and to help ensure that kids growing up here have access to an incredible education and graduate ready to embrace all that Washington, and the world, has to offer.”
University of Washington
All corps members not yet certified earn their certification through the University of Washington’s U-ACT Program. U-ACT represents a unique partnership between the UW College of Education, one of the top ranked education schools in the country, and Teach For America Washington.
Federal Way Public Schools
Many of our Corps Members placed in the Greater Puget Sound (GPS) area teach in Federal Way Public Schools (FWPS). With a shared dedication to the community and deep belief in the potential of all students, Teach For America and FWPS foster a thriving and welcoming environment for our teachers.
Grandview School District
The Grandview School District is one of our oldest district partners in South Central Washington, with TFA corps members having served schools there since 2013. We share the district's belief that all students can graduate with the ability to be successful in college, work, and life.