New report describes strengths, weaknesses of Teach for America

The Washington Post reports on a new study by Julian Vasquez Heilig and Su Jin Jez that reviews research on the Teach for America program.

The report’s major conclusions, as per the Post:

  • *More than 50 percent of Teach for America teachers leave after two years and more than 80 percent leave after three years. [About half of all teachers nationwide quit after five years, according to the National Education Association.]
  • Studies indicate that students of novice Teach for America teachers perform significantly less well in reading and math than those of credentialed beginning teachers.
  • Most studies find that those Teach for America teachers who stay long enough to become fully credentialed (typically after two years) appear to do about as well as other similarly experienced credentialed teachers in teaching reading, and do as well as, and sometimes better than, a comparison group in teaching math.

The full report is available here (PDF).

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