Research

NEAR-TERM MEASURES:
STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
 
TEACH FOR AMERICA
 
In September, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education released the largest and most rigorous study on Teach For America in nearly a decade which concluded that students randomly assigned to corps members’ middle and high school math classrooms advanced an additional 2.6 months per year compared to those assigned to other classrooms—whether they were taught by novices or veterans, and by traditionally or alternatively prepared teachers. 
Melissa A. Clark, Hanley S. Chiang, Tim Silva, Sheena McConnell, Kathy Sonnenfeld, and Anastasia Erbe (2013). Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
 
This gold-standard study used a randomized assignment experimental design to analyze the academic outcomes of 100 classrooms and nearly 2,000 students in multiple regions. It found that students of Teach For America corps members made at least as much progress in reading and attained significantly greater gains in math compared with students of other teachers.
Paul T. Decker, Daniel P. Mayer, and Steven Glazerman (2004). Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

 

Used a sophisticated “value-added” methodology to analyze eight years of secondary-level results on North Carolina’s standardized state assessments, researchers found that Teach For America corps members were, on average, more effective than other teachers in all subject areas—especially math and science. They also found that the positive impact of having a Teach For America corps member was two-to-three times the effect of having more than three years of teaching experience.
Zeyu Xu, Jane Hannaway and Colin Taylor (2009). The Urban Institute/National Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER)
 
INDEPENDENT STATE STUDIES
Between 2009 and 2012, three states—Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee—studied the effectiveness of teachers from different teacher preparation programs based on the “value add” of their graduates to student achievement. All three states concluded that Teach For America was among the top-performing teacher preparation programs, with its corps members making a greater impact on student achievement than other beginning teachers and as much impact on student achievement as more veteran teachers in many grade levels and subjects:
 
Tennessee State Board of Education and Tennessee Higher Education Commission (2010)
 
Gary Henry, Charles Thompson, Kevin C. Bastian, C. Kevin Fortner, David C. Kershaw, Kelly M. Purtell, and Rebecca A. Zulli (2010)
 
George H. Noell and Kristin A. Gansle (2009). Louisiana State University
 
TEACH FIRST
 
In this most recent study, researchers found that General Certificate of Secondary Education (GSCE) students benefited from the presence of a Teach First teacher in their school. The research demonstrated that in years two and three after a Teach First teacher’s introduction into a school there were school-wide gains of approximately 5% of a standard deviation, or a boost of one grade in one of a pupil’s eight best subjects.
Rebecca Allen and Jay Allnutt (2013).  Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London
 
A study of nearly 200 schools found that those schools that employ Teach First teachers show a statistically significant improvement in their General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) assessment results. Additionally, results indicated that the greater the number of Teach First teachers in the school, the better the school performed.
Daniel Mujis, Chris Chapman, Dr. Alison Collins, and Paul Armstrong (2010)
The University of Manchester
In a 2010 report by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), the UK’s body for school inspections, Teach First received the highest rating in all 44 areas inspected. Ofsted particularly commended the caliber of Teach First teachers and their success in leading students to high levels of academic achievement with a “relentless” focus on the learning and progress of their students.
Ofsted (2011)
 
 
ENSEÑA CHILE
The first third-party study of a Teach For All partner in Latin America demonstrates participants’ positive impact on students.
 
A 2010 Inter-American Development Bank study suggests a positive correlation between students being taught by Enseña Chile teachers and those students’ results on Spanish and math tests, as well as students’ non-cognitive abilities, such as self-esteem, self-efficacy, and intellectual and meta-cognitive abilities.
Mariana Alfonso, Ana Santiago, and Mariana Bassi (2010). Inter-American Development Bank
 
LONG-TERM MEASURES:
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT OF ALUMNI
 
CAREER TRAJECTORIES
 
  • Of Teach For America’s 37,000 alumni, more than 85% continue to work in education or with low-income communities, including 10,000 teachers, nearly 800 school leaders, and 185 state or district leaders impacting some of the fastest improving school systems in the nation.
     
  • Of the more than 2,600 Teach First alumni in the UK, 74% continue to work in the field of education, more than half of them as teachers. Others work across all sectors, including policy, government, and business, to address educational inequity in support of disadvantaged children.
 
PARTICIPANT MINDSETS
 
Will Dobbie and Roland G. Fryer, Jr. (2011) Harvard University
A 2011 Harvard University study found that Teach For America strengthens participants’ conviction that children from low-income backgrounds can compete academically with children from more affluent backgrounds; intensifies their belief that the achievement gap is solvable; and increases the likelihood that they will pursue a career in the education sector.