ERIC Number: ED485778
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Jul
Reference Count: 9
The Effects of Teach For America on Students: Findings from a National Evaluation. Discussion Paper no. 1285-04
Decker, Paul T.; Mayer, Daniel P.; Glazerman, Steven
Institute for Research on Poverty
Teach For America (TFA) was founded in 1989 to address the educational inequities facing children in low-income communities across the United States by expanding the pool of teacher candidates available to the schools those children attend. TFA recruits seniors and recent graduates from colleges around the country, people who are willing to commit to teach for a minimum of two years in low-income schools. TFA focuses its recruitment on people with strong academic records and leadership capabilities, whether or not they have planned to teach or have taken education courses. TFA is particularly interested in candidates that have the potential to be effective in the classroom but in the absence of TFA would not consider a teaching career. Consequently, most TFA recruits do not have education-related majors in college and therefore have not received the same training that traditional teachers are expected to have. After an executive summary and introduction, this discussion paper addresses the following: (1) How TFA Works; (2) Study Design; (3) Who Teaches in the Schools Where TFA Places Teachers?; (4) What Does Our Sample of Students Look Like?; (5) Were TFA Teachers Effective in the Classroom?; and (6) Did TFA Have an Impact on Other Student Outcomes? Primary findings from the study include: from the perspective of a community or a school faced with the opportunity to hire TFA teachers, TFA offers an appealing pool of candidates; from the perspective of TFA and its funders, the organization is making progress toward its primary mission of reducing inequities in education--it supplies low-income schools with academically talented teachers who contribute positively to the academic achievement of their students; and from the perspective of policymakers who are trying to improve the educational opportunities of children in poor communities, many of the control teachers in the study were not certified or did not have formal pre-service training, highlighting the need for programs or policies that offer the potential of attracting good teachers to schools in the most disadvantaged communities--the findings show that TFA is one such program. Appended are: (1) Supplementary Tables; and (2) Estimation Approach. (Contains 17 tables and 6 figures.)
Descriptors: Program Effectiveness, Teacher Education, Low Income Groups, Equal Education, Teacher Recruitment, Culturally Relevant Education, Student Diversity, Disadvantaged Youth, Academic Achievement
Publications Department, Institute for Research on Poverty, 1180 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706-1393. Tel: 608-262-6358; Fax: 608-265-3119; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Sponsor: Smith Richardson Foundation, Inc., Greensboro, NC.; William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Palo Alto, CA.; Carnegie Corp. of New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Inst. for Research on Poverty.
Identifiers - Location: United States
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets Evidence Standards without Reservations
WWC Study Page: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/study/78632