Teach For America is a national program that recruits and trains young adults to teach in low-income and disadvantaged communities in the United States to help confront educational inequity through measurable student growth.
The goal of the study was to use a quasi-experimental design to compare students’ reading and mathematics achievement based on whether their primary teacher was a Teach For America (TFA) AmeriCorps Members/alumni or non-TFA teacher. The evaluation used end-of-grade state assessments in reading and mathematics from students in grades 4 through 8 in 8 TFA regions (13 sites).
The research questions were:
- Across TFA regions, what was the impact of being taught by TFA AmeriCorps Members on student academic achievement (reading and mathematics) as compared to being taught by novice non-TFA teachers?
- Across TFA regions, what was the impact of being taught by TFA alumni on student academic achievement (reading and mathematics) as compared to being taught by experienced non-TFA teachers?
The intervention found that:
- There were no statistically significant average differences in student standardized state assessment reading or mathematics scores between students taught by TFA AmeriCorps Member/Alum as compared to student taught by a non-TFA novice teacher.
- However, the evaluation found that TFA AmeriCorps Members taught a greater proportion of students of color, students from low-income households, and students who had lower prior-year achievement scores.
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