More than 60 percent of teachers who started jobs in low-income schools via the alternative-preparation program Teach For America were still teaching two years later, a report says.
The program, which exhorts high-achieving young college graduates to commit to teaching for two years, has been criticized in the past by some experts who say the two-year enlistment does not work in the long-term interests of children.
But the report, which is part of a multiyear project on the future of the nation’s teaching force undertaken by Harvard University’s graduate school of education, appeared to find fairly high retention rates among TFA teachers, even in low-income schools that are typically considered hard to staff. Nearly 44 percent of teachers trained by the program who entered low-income schools remained with those schools for more than two years. Nearly 15 percent stayed in those jobs for more than four years.
The study also found that African-American and Latino teachers trained by TFA were less likely to quit their jobs than their Asian and white counterparts.
A version of this article appeared in the June 04, 2008 edition of Education Week