The study took place in 17 schools located in six TFA regions: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles (Compton school district), the Mississippi Delta, and New Orleans.
Among the students, 49% were female, 20% were overage for their grade, and 95% were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. The racial/ethnic demographics were as follows: 67% were African American; 26% were Hispanic; 4% were unknown; and 3% were another race/ethnicity, non-Hispanic.
Students were taught by TFA teachers. Most teachers were current TFA corps members within their 2-year teaching commitment, but some were TFA alumni who had completed the commitment and continued teaching. The median years of teaching experience was 2. Among TFA teachers, 70% had a bachelor’s degree from a most, highly, or very competitive college or university.30 By the end of the study year, 51% of TFA teachers had received a regular or initial teacher certification, and 25% had either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education. The median age at the time of the study was 24 years, and 69% of TFA teachers were female, 67% were White, 16% were African American, 11% were another race/ethnicity, and 6% were Hispanic. The authors did not report any deviations from the TFA model.
Students were taught by individuals who had never been a TFA corps member. The median years of teaching experience was 6. Among the comparison teachers, 2% had a bachelor’s degree from a most, highly, or very competitive college or university. By the end of the study year, 67% of comparison group teachers had received a regular or initial teacher certification, and 55% had either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in education. The median age of comparison group teachers at the time of the study was 35 years, and 87% of comparison group teachers were female, 76% were African American, 11% were White, 11% were Hispanic, and 3% were another race/ethnicity.
Support for implementation
TFA teachers received the typical support prescribed by the TFA model, which includes attending a 5-week summer institute prior to becoming a classroom teacher and receiving ongoing support during the 2-year teacher commitment from local TFA staff who conduct
classroom observations and connect corps members with resources to address their specific professional development needs.