Teach for America

Program basics

  • Selective teacher recruitment program that places new teachers in under-resourced public schools
  • Teachers commit for at least two years
  • Teachers receive 5–7 weeks of in-person training before the school year begins and continue to receive ongoing coaching and professional development while teaching
  • Teachers are directly employed by school districts and receive the same salary as other first- or second-year teachers

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Strong (second-highest tier)

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Strong (second-highest tier)

Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by the U.S. Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse


Target population

All school-aged children

Program cost

$81,000 per corps member across 3 years (from TFA); $3,283 per teacher (average district contribution)

Implementation locations

  • Nationwide

Dates active

1990–present

Outcomes and impact

  • Positive effect on mathematics achievement
  • Potentially positive effect on science achievement
  • No discernible effect on social studies and English language achievement
  • Improved mathematics achievement by an average of 4 percentile points
  • Potentially improved science achievement by an average of 7 percentile points

Keys to successful implementation

  • Provide supplemental support and training for new teachers.
  • Encourage teachers to receive training and certification in their second or subsequent years.
  • Create career pathways to retain teachers, developing their leadership and deepening their commitment to end educational inequity.

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