Teach for America

At a Glance

National Office: 
25 Broadway
New York , NY 10004
Phone: 212-279-2080
People Served: 
750,000
Year Founded: 
1990
Tax ID: 
13-3541913

Focus area(s):

Teacher & Principal Training
Personal & Leadership Development

Description

Our mission is to enlist, develop, and mobilize as many as possible of our nation's most promising future leaders to grow and strengthen the movement for educational equity and excellence.

Impact and Outcomes

The most rigorous research has found that corps members are among the most highly effective teachers for low-income classrooms in America today.
Independent surveys of principals echo these research findings. Principals express very high levels of satisfaction with Teach For America corps members and their effectiveness in the classroom.
Our current corps of 2016, joins alumni educators to comprise a teaching force of 19,000 nationwide.
Teach For America continues to be the nation’s largest source of teachers serving schools in low-income communities. It is also the most diverse pipeline of educators among large teacher preparation programs.
65% of alumni work full-time in education, 82% of alumni work full-time in roles impacting education or low-income communities.
12,000 alumni teachers, 1,010 alumni school principals, 280 alumni school system leaders, 325 alumni policy, advocacy & organizing leaders, 90 alumni were elected officials, 190 social entrepreneurs.
More than 80% of alumni have jobs that impact the field of education or education issues, despite the fact that only fifteen percent of alumni considered a career in education before entering the corps.

Mission & Goals

Teach For America’s mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting our nation’s most promising future leaders in the effort. TFA recruits outstanding recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in urban and rural areas and become lifelong leaders in pursuing educational excellence and equity. With extensive training and support, these corps members work relentlessly to ensure that students growing up today in low-income communities are given the educational opportunities they deserve. As alumni, they are a powerful force of leaders who act on the conviction and insight they gain from their teaching experience, working in education and all other sectors to effect the fundamental changes needed to ensure that all children have an equal chance in life.

Program

Teach For America employs a data-driven approach to recruiting, selecting, training, and developing teachers who will have a significant impact on their students’ academic achievement and life trajectory, and then fosters their long-term leadership in service of our mission.

Core program elements include:

  • Recruitment at the nation’s top colleges to find talented and diverse seniors with strong academic backgrounds and proven leadership abilities. Last year, more than 48,000 applied to be corps members.   
  • Selection of the top candidates through an intensive admissions process. In 2012, 17% of applicants were accepted into the corps. Among incoming corps members, the average college G.P.A. was 3.54, and 38% represent people of color.
  • Teacher preparation through course work, a 5-week summer institute, and induction.
  • Placement of corps members across all grade levels and subject areas in under-served public and charter school settings. Many corps members serve in high-need classrooms, such as English as a second language, special education, mathematics, and science.
  • Ongoing support and professional development of corps members through seminars, online resources, and one-on-one coaching from program directors.
  • Alumni development by connecting them via TFAnet online, One Day magazine, volunteer and philanthropic opportunities.  TFA fuels their efforts to continue the movement though professional development and networking opportunities and targeted opportunities for alumni in the education and political sectors.

 

The following unique characteristics drive TFA's success and continuous program improvement:

  • More than a decade of experience of explicitly linking the student achievement data of TFA students, and  lessons learned about great teaching, to  teacher recruitment, selection, training, and development practices.
  • A national brand, strategy, and infrastructure that enables TFA to attract the most exceptional, diverse leaders to high-need classrooms.
  • Extensive partnerships, networks, and supports to help deepen alumni engagement and accelerate alumni leadership in areas particularly relevant to TFA's mission (educational leadership, policy and advocacy leadership, and innovation).
  • Thus, Teach For America’s program model is producing a unique force of leaders who have the insights, skills, and conviction to build and sustain more high-performing schools and school systems.

Impact

Teach For America’s 10,000 corps members currently serve over 750,000 students across 36 regions that span 36 states and the District of Columbia. 

Over time, research has shown that Teach For America corps members’ impact on student achievement is at least as great as that of comparable beginning teachers. The most rigorous studies have found that corps members’ impact on student achievement exceeds that of other teachers in the same high-need schools—even when compared with veteran and fully certified teachers. For example, a 2008-09 study by the Urban Institute, which analyzed six years of data in North Carolina to evaluate the impact of corps members on high school students, found that:

  • Corps members were, on average, more effective than non-Teach For America teachers in all subject areas – especially in math and science. This finding held even when Teach For America teachers were compared with experienced and fully certified teachers.
  • The positive impact of having a Teach For America teacher was at least twice that of having a teacher with three or more years of experience relative to a new teacher.

 

Furthermore, the leadership of Teach For America’s ever-expanding network of over 38,000 individuals has fundamentally fueled the progress we are witnessing in education reform. Individually and collectively, they are helping to shape the policies and practices advancing education reform.

A few select examples of our alumni leaders include the following:

  • Colorado Senator Michael Johnston (’97) passed potentially revolutionary legislation in what has been called “the boldest education reform in recent memory,” linking teacher evaluation and tenure to demonstrated progress in student achievement.
  • The New Teacher Project President Tim Daly (’99) published policy analysis that has led to collective bargaining changes in multiple cities and conducted national research into why so few experienced/tenured teachers are dismissed.
  • In the last couple years, several alumni have been named to high profile leadership positions, including Tennessee State Commissioner of Education, Kevin Huffman (’92); Newark Superintendent, Cami Anderson (’93); Louisiana State Superintendent of Education, John White (’99); District of Columbia Chancellor Kaya Henderson (‘92); Tennessee Achievement Schools District Superintendant, Chris Barbic (’92), and Superintendent/Receiver of Lawrence Public Schools, Jeffrey Riley (’93).

Growth Plan

As TFA looks to 2015 and beyond, it is compelled to do even more to grow its impact by continuing to focus on these four strategic priorities:

  1. Grow in scale while increasing the diversity of the corps – by 2015, TFA aims to field more than 15,000 first- and second-year corps members, more than twice as many corps members as in 2010-11.  And TFA aims to increase diversity even as it grows, with at least 11% African-America (up from 10.6%), 10% Latino (up from 7.1%), and 33% from low-income backgrounds (up from 27.5%).  At this scale, TFA will provide 20-25% of the new hires and reach more than 900,000 students across the nation’s 60 highest-need urban and rural communities.
  2. Maximize the impact of corps members on their students’ achievement – the ultimate goal for TFA's classrooms is that students earn expanded opportunities in their lives through being led by the corps members. In order to track its progress in a measurable, uniform manner, and to make sure it is focused on helping all corps members, and most importantly, their students, perform to their highest ability, the goal is that by 2015, on average, corps members will effect student gains that place them in the 75th percentile of all teachers nationwide.
  3. Foster the leadership of its alumni as a force for change – TFA has set ambitious goals for accelerating alumni leadership in areas that are most critical to the broader education reform effort – growing the number of school leaders from 554 to 1,300, while nearly doubling the number of school system leaders (52 to 90); nearly tripling the number of policy leaders (63 to 170) while growing the number of advocacy leaders more than four times (38 to 160); and growing from 8 to 35 newly recognized alumni social entrepreneurs.
  4. Build an enduring American institution – TFA must build an organization that is highly diverse, well-regarded internally and externally, and financially, operationally, and technologically sound, so that it is able to thrive as long as necessary to address this problem.

Location of Sites

National Office: 
25 Broadway
New York , NY 10004
Phone: 212-279-2080
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

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Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2011

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$0
Foundation Grants: 
$0
Government Funding: 
$42,874,615
Contributions from Individuals: 
$193,503,406
Special Events: 
$3,380,010
Program Services Fees: 
$23,198,766
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$7,110,765
Total Revenue: 
$270,067,562

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$183,114,420
Occupancy: 
$0
Travel & Entertainment: 
$0
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$0
Telephone & Communications: 
$0
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$36,074,874
Other Expenses (Description): 

Supporting services.

Total Expenses: 
$219,189,294

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$50,878,268

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2010

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$0
Foundation Grants: 
$0
Government Funding: 
$45,995,710
Contributions from Individuals: 
$153,175,324
Program Services Fees: 
$18,232,410
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$5,963,172
Special Events: 
$3,767,251
Total Revenue: 
$227,133,867

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$151,284,632
Occupancy: 
$0
Travel & Entertainment: 
$0
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$0
Telephone & Communication: 
$0
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$34,098,488
Other Expenses (Description): 

 Supporting services.

Total Expenses: 
$185,383,120

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$41,750,747

Major Funders

Laura and John Arnold Foundation

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation

Doris & Donald Fisher Fund

Dream Fund

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Martha and Bruce Karsh

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The Lenfest Foundation

Steve and Sue Mandel

Michigan Education Excellence Foundation

Rainwater Charitable Foundation

Robertson Foundation

Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock

Charles And Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation

Meg Whitman and Griffith Harsh