ON-Lion Letter

Teach for America (TFA) builds a national corps of recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in hundreds of schools in America's lowest-income cities and regions.  In March, Mathematica Policy Research (MPR) released a study showing that TFA's first- and second-year elementary-school teachers were as effective as their counterparts in the same schools, who averaged 13.6 years of teaching experience, as measured by their students' test scores in reading and math.

The study was required as part of a $50 million U.S. Department of Education grant that TFA received to help it recruit and place more teachers in the neediest schools.  It examined 156 pre-K through fifth-grade teachers at 36 schools in 10 states.  TFA teachers were compared with non-TFA teachers at the same school, in the same grade level, who covered the same subject.

Specifically, MPR found that TFA teachers in pre-K through second grade "had a positive, statistically significant effect on student reading achievement of 0.12 standard deviations, or about 1.3 additional months of learning for the average student in these grades nationwide."  However, for both math and reading, MPR "did not find statistically significant differences in either direction for other grade levels or for TFA teachers compared with either novice or traditionally certified teachers."

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation substantially supports TFA's Milwaukee program.

Actions: E-mail | Permalink |