Math teachers that enter the profession through Teach for America helped raise student test scores. Teachers that entered the profession through the Teaching Fellows program did not see a similar boost in student math test scores.
These are the findings that research group Mathematica released earlier this week. According to GothamSchools, this latest study is part of a larger body of work that shows the effectiveness of the Teach for America program:
Looking at 8,500 students in multiple districts over two years, Mathematica found small but significant gains from having a Teach for America teacher. The average student in the study would have scored at the 27th percentile if assigned to a non-TFA teacher but scored in the 30th percentile if taught by a TFA math teacher, which the study's lead researcher, Melissa Clark, called "really nontrivial gains."
"The findings suggest that over the long term, continuing to fill a position with TFA teachers who depart after a few years would lead to higher student math achievement than filling the same position with a non-TFA teacher who would remain in the position and accumulate more teaching experience," Mathematica concluded.