A new Campbell Collaboration systematic review has been published, which looks at the impact of Teach for America on learning outcomes.
Teach for America (TFA) is a nationwide teacher preparation program designed to address the shortage of effective teachers, specifically in high-poverty rural and urban schools across the United States. The systematic review by Herbert Turner and colleagues considered the impact of TFA-prepared teachers relative to novice teachers, and alumni relative to veteran teachers. The impacts studied were for K-12 student outcomes in math, English language arts, and science.
A total of 24 studies were eligible for the review. However, once the research design, study quality, and comparison groups were considered, this was reduced to four qualifying studies.
The review found no significant effect on reading by TFA teachers in their first or second year teaching elementary grades when compared with non-TFA novice teachers. There was a small positive impact for pre-K through 2nd grade teachers on reading, but not on math. However, given the small evidence base, the review counsels that these results should be treated with caution.