Alternative Routes to Teaching: The Impacts of Teach For America on Student Achievement and Other Outcomes
- TFA teachers had a positive impact on math achievement and no impact on reading achievement.
Based on a randomized experiment to study the impact of Teach For America on student achievement and other outcomes, the authors find that TFA teachers had a positive impact on math achievement and no impact on reading achievement. The size of the impact on math achievement was about 15 percent of a standard deviation, equivalent to about one month of instruction. There were no impacts on other outcomes such as attendance, promotion, or disciplinary incidents, but TFA teachers were more likely than their peers to report problems with student behavior. The findings contradict claims that these types of alternative teacher preparation programs harm students.