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ERIC Number: ED502028
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
WWC Quick Review of the Report "Making a Difference? The Effects of Teach for America in High School"
What Works Clearinghouse
This study examined whether having a Teach For America (TFA) teacher instead of a non-TFA teacher affects the academic performance of high school students. The research described in this report is consistent with What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards with reservations. The following strengths were identified. The estimated effects rely on comparisons of student test scores from courses taught by TFA teachers to test scores of these same students from courses not taught by TFA teachers. This technique adjusts for the fact that TFA teachers generally teach lower-performing students. Cautions: Students may be placed in a course taught by a TFA teacher because of their ability in that subject--and not solely because of their general math and science ability. If so, differences in performance in TFA and non-TFA classes may be influenced by differences in student ability in specific subjects. As a result, the study may not accurately measure the effect of having a TFA teacher. In addition, the data do not link students directly to the teacher who taught their course. Instead, the study matches students to teachers based on test proctor and classroom demographics. This method is somewhat imprecise, and matching errors could lead to misleading results. [The following report was the focus of this "Quick Review": "Making a Difference? The Effects of Teach for America in High School." Working Paper 17. Zeyu Xu, Jane Hannaway, and Colin Taylor. National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER), 2007.]
What Works Clearinghouse. 550 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: What Works Clearinghouse (ED)
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A