Julian Vasquez Heilig: Time to Look at Evidence About Teach for America

Diane Ravitch's blog

A new report by Julian Vasquez Heilig and Su Jin Jez reviews the evidence about the effectiveness of Teach for America.

Their study, published by the National Education Policy Center, “challenges the simplistic but widespread belief that TFA is a clear-cut success story. In fact, Heilig and Jez find that the best evidence shows TFA participants as a group are not meaningfully or consistently improving educational outcomes for the children they have taught.”

They find that:

Teach For America and other organizations have produced studies asserting benefits provided by TFA teachers. Those studies, however, have only rarely undergone peer review – the standard benchmark for quality research, Heilig and Jez observe. In contrast, the available peer reviewed research has produced a decidedly mixed picture. For example, the results attributed to TFA teachers varies both by their experience and certification level. The results also fluctuate depending on the types of teachers…

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