Making a difference? The effects of Teach For America in high school

Authors

  • Zeyu Xu,

    1. A Senior Research Associate, Education Policy Center, The Urban Institute, 2100 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20037
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  • Jane Hannaway,

    1. Director of the Education Policy Center, The Urban Institute, and Director of the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER), 2100 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20037
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  • Colin Taylor

    1. The Implementation Manager
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    • The Implementation Manager, Governor's Delivery Unit, Office of Governor Martin O'Malley, and was formerly a Research Assistant, Education Policy Center, The Urban Institute, 7035 Blair Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20012


Abstract

Teach For America (TFA) selects and places graduates from the most competitive colleges as teachers in the lowest-performing schools in the country. This paper is the first study that examines TFA effects in high school. We use rich longitudinal data from North Carolina and estimate TFA effects through cross-subject student and school fixed effects models. We find that TFA teachers tend to have a positive effect on high school student test scores relative to non-TFA teachers, including those who are certified in field. Such effects offset or exceed the impact of additional years of experience and are particularly strong in science. © 2011 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

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