An Analysis of Teach for America's Research Page

Philip E. Kovacs, Erica Slate-Young


On paper, Teach for America (TFA) has all the markings of an excellent program with real potential for social service and change. Given a hard to staff school in a poverty stricken city, allowing enthusiastic college graduates with some training to go in and put their hearts and souls into classrooms that would otherwise be staffed with less-prepared or unprepared individuals may seem like a good idea. Upon further examination, TFA becomes more problematic as its claims to success do not stand up to close scrutiny, and the program has evolved from placing its “corps members” (TFA’s language) in hard to staff schools to replacing certified teachers. This paper analyzes TFA’s claims to “success” through analysis of the organization’s “research” page. Data sources also include peer reviewed papers, research generated by think tanks, and the work of educational bloggers.


Teach for America; Neoliberalism; Philanthropy; Teacher Education; Educational Research

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education