NotesFAQContact Us
Collection
Advanced
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED510247
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 21
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Teach for America: A Review of the Evidence
Heilig, Julian Vasquez; Jez, Su Jin
Education Policy Research Unit
Teach For America (TFA) aims to address teacher shortages by sending graduates from elite colleges, most of whom do not have a background in education, to teach in low-income rural and urban schools for a two-year commitment. The impact of these graduates is hotly debated by those who, on the one hand, see this as a way to improve the supply of teachers by enticing some of America's top students into teaching and those who, on the other hand, see the program as a harmful dalliance into the lives of low-income students who most need highly trained and highly skilled teachers. The question for most districts, however, is whether TFA teachers do as well as or better than credentialed non-TFA teachers with whom school districts aim to staff their schools. On this question, studies indicate that the students of novice TFA teachers perform significantly less well in reading and mathematics than those of credentialed beginning teachers. Thus, a simple answer to the question of TFA teachers' relative effectiveness cannot be conclusively drawn from the research; many factors are involved in any comparison. The lack of a consistent impact, however, should indicate to policymakers that TFA is likely not the panacea that will reduce disparities in educational outcomes. The evidence suggests that districts may benefit from using TFA personnel to fill teacher shortages when the available labor pool consists of temporary or substitute teachers or other novice alternatively and provisionally certified teachers likely to leave in a few years. Nevertheless, if educational leaders plan to use TFA teachers as a solution to the problem of shortages, they should be prepared for constant attrition and the associated costs of ongoing recruitment and training. (Contains 3 tables and 56 notes.)
Education Policy Research Unit. Arizona State University, Division of Advanced Studies in Education Policy, Leadership, and Curriculum, Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education, P.O. Box 872411, Tempe, AZ 85287. Tel: 480-965-1886; e-mail: epsi@asu.edu; Web site: http://epicpolicy.org/
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice
Authoring Institution: Arizona State University, Education Policy Research Unit; University of Colorado at Boulder, Education and the Public Interest Center