TFA Teachers Shown to Boost Secondary Math Learning
Even as evidence builds that Teach For America produces capable secondary math teachers, the question about which parts of the program are most effective in preparing them for the classroom continues to deepen. That’s the implication of a rigorous federally funded study released Sept. 10 that examines the impact of TFA and a second popular program, both of which quickly train and place top college graduates and career-changers in underresourced classrooms.
Secondary math teachers who enter the profession through TFA helped their students learn more in mathematics than colleagues who entered teaching through a less-selective fast-track program or a traditional, university-based program. They also outperformed experienced teachers in that subject—a finding contradicting critics who argue that TFA teachers’ relative inexperience harms learning.
Teachers trained through another selective alternative route, Teaching Fellows, were indistinguishable overall from teachers...
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