Quality in the Classroom: How Does Teach For America Measure Up?

Quality in the Classroom: How Does Teach For America Measure Up?

Trends in Education Research, Issue Brief #1
Published: Aug 30, 2004
Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research
Associated Project

National Evaluation of Teach For America

Time frame: 2001-2004

Prepared for:

The Smith Richardson Foundation

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Carnegie Corporation


Paul T. Decker

Daniel P. Mayer

Steven Glazerman

This four-page issue brief summarizes findings from Mathematica's evaluation of Teach For America. The researchers found that TFA teachers outperformed non-TFA teachers in the same schools in math and achieved the same results in reading. However, TFA teachers also reported greater challenges in managing their classrooms. TFA and non-TFA teachers had very different educational and teacher preparation backgrounds, with TFA teachers generally coming from more competitive undergraduate backgrounds but with less formal teacher training. However, non-TFA teachers came from a diversity of backgrounds and preparation, with many entering the profession without substantial teacher training.

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