Teachers

"Teach for America" Outperforms Standard Public Education, Despite Outcry from Teacher Unions

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Credit: George Eastman House / Foter

Contrary to what some teachers union leaders have argued, a recent study commissioned by the Department of Education indicates that the teachers trained by Teach for America (TFA) benefit students more than traditional public education.

The study, carried out by Mathematica Policy Research (MPR), focused specifically on mathematics, and utilized data spanning 11 school districts in eight states. Over two school years, MPR gathered information on 4,573 students in 111 different classrooms taught by 136 teachers in 45 schools. Half of the subjects were TFA teachers and students, the other half were part of the standard education system, called "comparison teachers" and their students.

MPR found that TFA students scored substantially higher than students of comparison teachers. The study indicates that the former received the equivalent to an additional 2.6 months worth of education. This is despite the fact that TFA teachers had fewer years of teaching experience and were statistically less likely to have majored in mathematics or to have taken as many math courses in college as their counterparts.

The findings likely come to the chagrin of opponents of TFA, such as Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis, who has previously declared that the TFA teachers "kill and disenfranchise" their students. 

The MPR study, on the other hand, concludes that "TFA teachers were more effective than the teachers with whom they were compared."

Although the study declines to give recommendations or determine why the TFA teachers were more effective, MPR notes that TFA relies on a competitive admissions process to place novice teachers among disadvantaged, low-income populations. The study explains that TFA has a "highly selective admissions criteria designed to admit only applicants who have demonstrated a high level of achievement in academics or other endeavors."

The MPR report follows earlier studies that found better comparative performance from TFA teachers in Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

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139 responses to “"Teach for America" Outperforms Standard Public Education, Despite Outcry from Teacher Unions

  1. Or maybe, just maybe, TFA teachers are trained to position themselves to get better students.

    1. …joking?

    2. Because researchers wouldn’t think to control for that? Really?

  2. “TFA teachers were more effective than the teachers with whom they were
    compared. On average, students assigned to TFA teachers scored 0.07 standard
    deviations higher on end-of-year math assessments than students assigned to
    comparison teachers, a statistically significant difference. This impact is equivalent
    to an additional 2.6 months of school for the average student nationwide.”

    “2.6 months,” sounds better than “.07 standard deviations,” so it doesn’t surprise me that you left that out. The achievement gap, shall I remind you, is about 1.1 standard deviations. Try moar harder.

    1. 1) So what? 2.6 months is a significant chunk of time. Doesn’t matter how many SDs that is. 2) Achievement gap? What are you talking about?

      1. So what? 2.6 months is a significant chunk of time. Doesn’t matter how many SDs that is.

        It’s a significant chunk of wasted time.

        Achievement gap? What are you talking about?

        This is an article about education policy. Therefore, this is an article about the achievement gap. The achievement gap is the heart and soul of education policy.

        1. It’s a significant chunk of wasted time.

          Yes. Wasted by inferior non-TFA teachers.

          The achievement gap is the heart and soul of education policy.

          In other words, it doesn’t exist.

          1. ?! The achievement gap doesn’t exist? Since when??

        2. So, education policy is about crippling the high achievers to “close the achievement gap” so the low achievers don’t look bad?

          Makes perfect sense when you put it that way.

          1. It is no surprise that collectivized education would want to collectivize people.

    2. Is the 2.6 months over a 2 year period? Because if it is, then 2.6 x 6 is 15.6 months, or about 1.5 years of school over grades 1-12. I would say that’s pretty significant.

      1. It’s not time, it’s what you get for that time. Just it’s not how much money you spend, it’s how much that money buys you.

        1. You obviously got a regular teacher.

    3. “Try moar harder.”

      Idiot outs his new sockpuppet by using favorite tired phrase without realizing it.

    1. Hi Merican.

        1. Yokeltarians gonna yokel.

    2. How? The point of that post seems to be quibbling (“OK, it’s statistically significant, but…”) and pointing out that TFA teachers are less likely to be minorities.

      1. It’s NOT statistically significant. What?

        1. Actually, it is.

  3. Karen Lewis, who has previously declared that the TFA teachers “kill and disenfranchise” their students.

    As opposed to Karen Lewis, who looks like she kills and eats them.

    1. I thought someone had stolen our living-room drapes.

  4. “This is despite the fact that TFA teachers had fewer years of teaching experience and were statistically less likely to have majored in mathematics or to have taken as many math courses in college as their counterparts.”

    Now for all the crap you leave out.

    “There was no significant difference in the percentage of TFA and
    comparison teachers who majored in any math-related subject (including math, secondary math
    education, and the other math-related subjects listed above).

    Who is smarter, the person who majored in math, or the person who majored in statistics, engineering, computer science, finance, economics, physics, or astrophysics at a “selective university?” They were less likely to be women. They were less likely to be minorities. This kind of dishonesty is typical for this website.

    1. They were less likely to be women. They were less likely to be minorities.

      So you’re saying that having fewer women and minorities as teachers improves test scores? Interesting.

      1. Actually, if you scroll to the very bottom, the teacher being female was correlated with higher achievement, as was the teacher being black. The latter was not true, however, at a statistically significant level, while the former was.

      2. The problem is that improving teacher quality requirements would significantly reduce the number of minority teachers. Do you want that?

        1. Don’t really care what color of skin they have, since I’m not a racist.

        2. Why would sacrificing high standards for some identity crap be a good idea?

    2. Around these parts, we don’t much care for credentials. We care about results.

      Keep swinging, JJ. I’m guessing, as a good union member, you clock out at 5:00 sharp, so make it snappy.

    3. So what? The program still works. And where the hell did you pull all that other crap from?

      Moderators please delete this asshole’s posts and ban it.

      1. Wow, you’re TERRIFIED of facts. Go run away, coward! Science is here! AHHH

        1. It’s pretty obvious you and JJ didn’t actually read through just a few of the tables in this study that disprove every objection you’ve raised here. Not to mention that the teachers’ unions are the ones calling to shut down TFA, so the burden of proof is on them, not Reason or TFA

          1. It’s pretty obvious you and JJ didn’t actually read through just a few of the tables in this study that disprove every objection you’ve raised here.

            Be specific. Give me one example. Oh yeah you can’t because you’re lying.

            I’m the last guy in the world who should be sympathetic to the teachers’ unions. But in this case they are right.

            1. Page 256 of the PDF. Table G4. They accounted for all of these variables (elite university, college math taken, teacher math scores, teaching experience, etc.). The predicted difference between TFA teachers and comparison teachers was -0.028 (in z-score units). This means the comparison teachers were expected, even after accounting for all this, to outperform the TFA teachers. The observed difference was 0.075 in favor of the TFA teachers. If you check the table, some of the things you brought up (like graduating from an elite university, number of college math classes taken above median, etc.) actually had negative or near zero correlations. And in Table G.8 (last table in the PDF) they also added correlations for female and black teachers, both of which were positively correlated with student achievement (in the case of black teachers, not at a statistically significant level)

              1. EPIC FACTPWN

                Thank you CD.

              2. Yeah, of course that stuff doesn’t matter that was my entire fucking point. It is the students who matter. There is a .07 standard deviation difference, as I said before. I was pointing out how it was dishonest of Reason to point out that they “were statistically less likely to have majored in mathematics or to have taken as many math courses in college as their counterparts,” while ignoring the fact that they were much more likely to have gone to a selective university, among other things. You need to improve your reading comprehension skills.

                1. Did you not read what I fucking said? Who gives a shit if they went to an elite university? There was no positive correlation between that and student achievement. Difference in math scores were not enough to explain the observed disparity. If you wanted to simply argue about the students, then fine, you should have stuck to that. Bringing up all this other shit that was proven to be either irrelevant, trivial, or actually beneficial to the comparison group, destroys whatever credibility you did have.

                  1. Who gives a shit if they went to an elite university?

                    Who gives a shit if they “have taken as many math courses in college as their counterparts.” The chart also shows that that doesn’t matter. But Reason brought it up, and it didn’t bring up the part about the elite university. Why? Because it had to fit their narrative.

                    1. If you’re saying that Reason simply should have added some words on what I said about the correlations between all these variables, I would agree with you. They still could have fit their narrative, because TFA teachers were at a disadvantage after all these factors were accounted for, and still outperformed the comparison group. But that’s not what you were arguing. Your earlier posts clearly show that you were trying to credit all these things (plus race and gender of the teachers) as the reasons to explain the disparity, even though the data explicitly contradicts that notion.

            2. I’m the last guy in the world who should be sympathetic to the teachers’ unions.

              That’s an odd thing to say. Are you a school administrator?

              1. Does American have a job? I mean, between the time spent trolling this board, reading AmRen and Stormfront, posting in the manosphere, picking up chicks, and attending Klan rallies, I’m not sure how much is left for an actual job. Though I guess that would actually make him a good fit to be a school administrator.

                1. Well Reason made the exact argument you accuse me of making:

                  “Although the study declines to give recommendations or determine why the TFA teachers were more effective, MPR notes that TFA relies on a competitive admissions process to place novice teachers among disadvantaged, low-income populations. The study explains that TFA has a “highly selective admissions criteria designed to admit only applicants who have demonstrated a high level of achievement in academics or other endeavors.””

                  As you show, these “highly selective admissions criteria” don’t seem to have much effect. It could be that the program simply selects for motivation of the volunteers. But the argument is trivial because it’s 0.07 standard deviations. Had Reason made your argument I would have no problem with it, but it purposely mentioned one factor(math classes in college), while leaving out all the other possible factors(going to a selective university, majoring in physics, engineering, ect, the race and gender of the teachers). My point about race was that this “improve teacher quality” quest would significantly reduce the amount of minority teachers.

                  1. Again, all of your points were refuted by the study. If you want to make this about the students, stick to that. Your arguments regarding teachers have been completely discredited. Also, see Fluffy’s post below. The real value of this study is what it disproves, rather than what it proves.

                2. If you read this post and this obnoxious post from the blog that JJ keeps pimpin’….

                  I wonder, I wonder….

  5. No kidding.

    If you were to call central casting and say “Hey, we need someone to play a thuggish and corrupt union fatcat, and lets mix it up by casting a woman”, and they sent you Karen Lewis, you’d send her back with a note that you aren’t making a frickin’ cartoon here, send someone believable.

    1. Yeesh. It’s Dolores Umbridge.

  6. Not surprising at all, Education Majors are the dregs of college students and TFA is very hard to get into. Especially lately with the recession.

      1. Here you go. Get ready to scream about Faux News, oh wait, it’s from CBS.

        http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-50…..lege-major

        1. Teachers have lower SAT scores than engineers. Maybe that’s because it’s easier to be a teacher than an engineer. We would have about as much justification whining about the low SAT scores for truck drivers. After all I’m sure truck drivers with higher SAT scores are less likely to crash their trucks. As the saying goes, life is an IQ test.

          1. Apatheist asserted that college teachers are from the bottom of the barrel of college students. Their low SAT scores would back up this assertion. I’m not sure what you think you are refuting.

            Incidentally, you seem to be asserting that they don’t need to be particularly smart to get a job as a teacher. I would concur with this assertion.

            1. What I’m refuting if that having them have higher SAT scores matters. It’s the students who are the variable here.

              1. Except that you didn’t refute shit. You just made a random analogy

              2. It’s the students who are the variable here.

                And since this is the case, you favor scrapping the entire public indoctrination system, right?

                1. The paper refuted itself with it’s .07 standard deviations. I just pointed it out.

                  I would say no indoctrination in public schools, yes.

                  1. No indoctrination or no public schools?

                  2. I would say no indoctrination in public schools, yes.

                    No such thing as public schools that do not indoctrinate. They are government indoctrination centers. They can be nothing else.

                    1. Abolish public schools? I thought about it, I really did. For a fraction of a second. As useless as these schools can be, I don’t think having these kids out on the streets, either working or “playing” is a good idea. Although it is rare, some of America’s greatest mind’s came from lower-class backgrounds. Everyone deserves at least a chance at success.

                    2. Abolish public schools? I thought about it, I really did. For a fraction of a second. … Although it is rare, some of America’s greatest mind’s came from lower-class backgrounds.

                      A noble sentiment, but why does it entail that such an education be public? For example, Pauline Dixon’s work has shown the success of private, low-cost schools marketed toward India’s urban and rural poor.

                    3. Everyone deserves at least a chance at success.

                      And if government does not coerce “access” from those who are not directly benefited then it can’t happen? How did we ever become so smart that we knew we must have socialized education before we had socialized education?

                    4. Well the poor might not be able to afford the education. Even if they could, many of them would rather spend that money on liquor.

                    5. Well the poor might not be able to afford the education

                      What part of “private, low-cost schools marketed toward [the] urban and rural poor” didn’t you understand?

                    6. “Even if they could, many of them would rather spend that money on liquor.”

                      Yeah, those poor (black?) people jes likkered up all the time!

                    7. “I don’t think having these kids out on the streets, either working or “playing” is a good idea.”

                      I see you’re not familiar with ‘false dichotomy’.
                      You should look it up.

                    8. Provide a well-reasoned argument on how we could abolish public schools and avoid that fate. The only way would be for the government to coerce in other ways.

                    9. JJ Thompson| 9.13.13 @ 7:55PM |#
                      “Provide a well-reasoned argument on how we could abolish public schools and avoid that fate.”

                      You’re making the claim; prove it.

                    10. You want to abolish public schools, you prove it. My claim is simply that many Americans will not be financially able or willing to enroll their child in a private school. You are the one who says they will be. Prove it.

                    11. “My claim is simply that many Americans will not be financially able or willing to enroll their child in a private school. You are the one who says they will be.”

                      You made the claim; prove it.
                      BTW, here’s a shovel. Keep right on digging.

                    12. Wait, what about all those schools in pre-industrial America? You know, the one-room school-house that taught the farmer’s kids?

                      What about the inexpensive private schools throughout Africa where parents scrimp and save to afford the fees?

                      There’s tons of evidence that abolishing public schools will work. What people are afraid of is that private schools will teach stuff they don’t like. That some private schools will emphasis religious instruction, that other’s will teach creationism as part of the curricula or that most won’t be designed as college prep and focus on voc-tech training.

          2. After all I’m sure truck drivers with higher SAT scores are less likely to crash their trucks. As the saying goes, life is an IQ test.

            Again, that’s a rather odd thing to say. The SAT, as a psychometric, doesn’t measure reaction time, visio-spatial reasoning, and manual dexterity, which I posit are more involved in the ability to drive than the verbal and mathematical ability the SAT is designed to measure.

    1. Education Majors are the dregs of college students

      “Anyone who doesn’t understand the public school problems in America never dated an Elementary-Education major in college.” -PJ O’Rourke

  7. “The study explains that TFA has a “highly selective admissions criteria designed to admit only applicants who have demonstrated a high level of achievement in academics or other endeavors.””

    The problem is that people with high level of achievement in academics or other endeavors demand higher wages than the current perfunctory class of teachers. Considering this I’m sure most of the current TFA teachers have other options but are doing it for charitable reasons. That isn’t scalable. The only way to improve teacher quality to the TFA level on a mass scale would be to significantly raise wages to induce would-be engineers into the field. And we all know how this website feels about government spending.

    1. Per-pupil spending tripled since 1980, IIRC, where did that money go exactly, and why couldn’t some of it be diverted to salaries? Also, you wouldn’t see any results until the current crop of crap teachers retires and the new crop came in.

      Generally speaking, giant government programs need more than some tweak to work better.

    2. Or you could just replace the current crap teachers with the TFA folks who seem fine volunteering for this. If they leave, replace with more TFA volunteers.

      Desperate hack is desperate.

      1. Yeah, and then we could celebrate our .07 standard deviation improvement among the select few kids who are placed with the very few TFA volunteers as well as the firing of Black and Hispanic teachers. Or, we could actually have a discussion of innate ability and the real reason for the achievement gap.

        1. Jesus, JJ, you pimp the Educational Realist’s blog at every opportunity. Are you him/her, by any chance?

        2. There is no solid evidence of a difference in innate ability being the reason behond the education system’s failings.

            1. This is all pseudo-science horseshit.

            2. A Murray paper from 1997. I’m curious, do you have anything that was written after the “epigenetics revolution”?

              And for the third time, I’m asking you if you’re the author of the Educational Realist blog. I am at a loss as why you don’t deign to give a simple “yes” or “no” for such a easy question.

              1. I doubt Merkin has the slightest clue what epigenetics is

                1. He should, since I’ve explained it to him over 100 times!

                  1. If JJ is west coast, the 5PM bell went off; see RCD up-thread.

        3. Tell me why, exactly, we care about the racial make-up of our teachers?

    3. The important thing about the study isn’t that it provides a scalable roadmap for a broader national program.

      The real value of the study is what it debunks, not what it proves.

      First, it debunks the idea that the content taught to education majors it important. People who have (supposedly) mastered the oh-so-important education content lost a direct statistical competition to talented and motivated amateurs.

      Another thing it debunks is the notion that teacher seniority protection has any value for students. If anything, this helps demonstrate that the opposite is probably true, which should be intuitively obvious but which teacher union defenders violently deny.

      1. ^This

    4. The only way to improve teacher quality to the TFA level on a mass scale would be to significantly raise wages to induce would-be engineers into the field. And we all know how this website feels about government spending.

      Or…an educational entrepreneur could see an opportunity here and open a private school that caters to these kids with a highly paid and skilled faculty.

      Jus’ sayin’

      1. I’m sure we could find lots of parents who would just die to pay a shitload of money to get their kids that .07 standard deviations. The only thing stopping it would be the possibility of a desperate impact lawsuit.

        1. I’m sure we could find lots of parents who would just die to pay a shitload of money to get their kids that .07 standard deviations.

          If you market it correctly, why not?

          The only thing stopping it would be the possibility of a desperate [sic] impact lawsuit.

          Heh. Sad but true.

          1. If you market it correctly, why not?

            Test prep gives about the same amount of improvement for a fraction of the cost.

            1. And? I think Kaplan was looking into a similar set up a decade ago; I think NCLB scared them off. Anyway, my point is that if there is an opportunity to make money, why not?

        2. Dude, you still don’t get it.

          The teacher union argument has always been:

          1. Amateurs can’t teach, because even when they know subject matter content they “don’t know method”.

          2. The cant that passes for educational theory taught to education majors is critically important to teaching, and that theory “professionalizes” teaching.

          3. Teachers with a lot of seniority have “experience and accumulated expertise” that makes them better teachers.

          If these three things were true, the pool of professional teachers should have slaughtered the TFA pool. Annihilated it. It shouldn’t have even been close.

          Had the TFA pool merely matched the performance of the professional teacher pool, it would have destroyed these three critical claims of teacher union propaganda. A tie would have been a victory for TFA. Because it would have shown that people with no instruction on method, no exposure to theory, and no experience got the same results.

          But it wasn’t a tie. The TFA pool won.

          1. The TFA pool won.

            Now let us put them up against home schoolers and put that argument to rest.

          2. That’s not exactly how it works. TFA teacher receive training in basic pedagogic theories and methodology and professional development in their content area both before their placement and in-service.

            They’re not just plucking a random person off the street, handing them a textbook, and then placing them in front of a class.

            1. They’re not just plucking a random person off the street, handing them a textbook, and then placing them in front of a class.

              Right. They’re giving them some basic instruction.

              They aren’t sending them to four years of being an education major. They aren’t having them pursue master’s degrees at taxpayer expense.

              So they are proving what I have thought about every teacher I’ve ever known –

              That if you gave me 60 days to prepare, I’d be better at their job than they are.

              1. 4 years for an (Bachelor’s) in Ed?

                That’s crazy.

          3. Well I’m not arguing the teacher union view. I’m arguing for the voldemort view. I’m arguing against the idea that doing what the TFA does is either scalable or desirable.

            1. You explicitly stated upthread that the teachers’ unions are right. The unions that said TFA teachers “kill and disenfranchise” their students. Your entire MO in this thread is to make an argument, have that argument get destroyed, and then backtrack and claim you were really only arguing something else.

              1. Well I said that in this one case they were right, I obviously don’t agree with them on much else. They are right that the TFA doesn’t make much of a difference. Should it be shut down? No, so I suppose I’m in the middle here.

                1. They aren’t claiming that it doesn’t make much of a difference. Are you not actually listening to their arguments or are you too stupid to comprehend them?

                2. JJ Thompson: I suppose I’m in the middle here.

                  That. Is. Hilarious.

            2. You linked to that blog again. So I have to ask you again, is that your blog? If so, it’s kind of dishonest, rhetorically, to keep citing it without stating it’s your work.

            3. But the Voldemort view is irrelevant to the topic, whether it’s correct or not.

              Even if the achievement gap between blacks and other groups is insuperable…

              …The TFA group outperformed the traditional educator group.

              Because the study is about teacher performance, and not about the distribution (racial or otherwise) of student performance.

              1. Damn Fluffy’s focused.

              2. Fluffy, the study is about education policy. Ergo, it is about the racial distribution of student performance. All of this argument between “progressives” and “reformers” about education is about how best to address the achievement gap. That is why education is such a big deal in America. You don’t see similar things happen in Europe even though Europeans score lower than American Whites. But both progressives and reformers are only arguing over something which has very little real effect.(.07 standard deviations)

                1. Fluffy, the study is about education policy. Ergo, it is about the racial distribution of student performance.

                  No, it isn’t.

                  Because as even your boy at the education realist blog acknowledges over and over, even if there are cognitive differences between groups, educators should still try to give every student as much assistance as they can.

                  So even if the achievement gap can never be bridged, if we find that we are devoting resources to an effort that is not providing results (the decades-long effort to “professionalize” the occupation of teaching), we should stop doing that. Even if the achievement gap can never be bridged, if replacing one group of teachers with a younger and more enthusiastic group will raise student performance, that’s what we should do. (Or we should put parents in a position where they can use school choice to make that change themselves.)

                  And expressed in months, essentially they’re saying that the students in the TFA group are a semester ahead of the students in the control group. You know what you call the kids who are a semester ahead of the other kids in their grade? The smart kids.

            4. Oh good it’s obviously Merican peddling his racialist-IQ shit.

              1) Black Americas have nearly or the same IQ as white ones and

              2)IQ is not that useful for prediction of success it’s really 1-dimensional.

              1. 1) Black Americas have nearly or the same IQ as white ones

                But what is even more important is the certain individual black Americans have much higher IQ’s than certain individual white Americans. Exhibit A: Thomas Sowell and “JJ Thompson”.

                It doesn’t matter how many white Einsteins there are JJ, you ain’t one of them.

                1. That’s true, but like Alfred Nobel, JJ invented DY-NO-MITE!!!!

              2. 1) Incorrect. The difference is about 1 to 1.1 standard deviations (about 15 points), which is over 14 times greater than the “substantial”[sic] .07 std-dev difference found in this study.

                2) Also incorrect.
                http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottf…..uences.pdf

                “Thousands of studies have looked at the impact of mental abilities on school and job performance, and large national longitudinal studies in both Europe and the United States have shown that IQ is related to various forms of socioeconomic success and failure.

                IQ/g is best single predictor, mental or non-mental. IQ/g usually predicts major life outcomes better than does any other single predictor in broad samples of individuals.”

          4. I’ve got a teacher friend of mine (in his second year of teaching) who will tell you that the 4 years he spent in college getting his teaching cert were no where near as valuable as the first year of actually teaching.

            He already knew the subject, he just spent four years learning how to teach and most of that was fairly useless theory – he learned more practical skills running his own classroom.

        3. If that 0.07 standard deviation meant 2.6 months a year ahead, then yeah probably.

          1. Well that’s how they would market it, and they might actually convince people too stupid to look at it closely.

            1. You realize we’re talking about 0.075 (the more accurate number) standard deviations over just two years, right? The achievement gap doesn’t grow by a standard deviation every year. 0.075 per two years is equal to about half a standard deviation over the course of primary and secondary school. It’s absurd to expect a full standard deviation difference in two years. That’s equivalent to almost three extra years of schooling

  8. The money has all gone to new buildings that aren’t needed, more administration, fewer hours and more benefits for teachers. Exactly the list of things that won’t have any positive correlation on results. Of course it is exactly the types of things that government, unions and especially government employee unions constantly want. They don’t want better, bigger or improved in any way. Just their guaranteed piece of whatever is left after their destructive policies are put in place.

  9. TFA has a “highly selective admissions criteria designed to admit only applicants who have demonstrated a high level of achievement in academics or other endeavors.”

    Cherry-picking. Those kids probably aren’t even Education majors.

  10. Apparently it’s the students’ fault.

  11. MPR found that TFA students scored substantially higher than students of comparison teachers.

    No, it was very slightly higher, not “substially” higher:

    “The study had two main findings, one for each program studied:
    1. TFA teachers were more effective than the teachers with whom they were compared. On average, students assigned to TFA teachers scored 0.07 standard deviations higher on end-of-year math assessments than students assigned to comparison teachers, a statistically significant difference. This impact is equivalent to an additional 2.6 months of school for the average student nationwide.

    2. Teaching Fellows were neither more nor less effective than the teachers with whom they were compared. On average, students of Teaching Fellows and students of comparison teachers had similar scores on end-of-year math assessments.”

    A full standard deviation higher would be “substantial”, like this:

    “…TFA teachers scored significantly higher on the Praxis II math exam than the comparison teachers. TFA teachers who took the Mathematics Content Knowledge Test scored 22 points (or 0.93 standard deviations) higher than their counterparts from other routes; TFA teachers who took the Middle School Mathematics Test outscored their counterparts by 22 points (or 1.19 standard deviations).”

    1. substially = substantially. Grrr.

  12. Traditional public education has to be canceled in schools. As you see, Teach for America teaches can do much more good to our children. As far as I know Obama wants us to be a better educated nation, so now looks like there is a great opportunity to do something about it. If these teachers are more effective than traditional one’s than it is time to think what we want for our children. Do we want them to count and to write (check this link for writing samples online) better? Do we wan them to know history better? Sure we do!

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