Impact of Teach for America

Teach for America

2010 - 2011

RESEARCH QUESTION

What is the impact of a short-term service program, such as Teach For America (TFA), on the trajectory of volunteers’ lives?

ACTION

Using data from a web-based survey administered to TFA applicants, EdLabs provided the first causal estimate of the impact of service programs on those who serve. From April 2010 to May 2011, we reached out to all TFA applicants from the 2003–2009 cohorts via email, inviting them to participate in a survey. The survey contained 87 questions, took approximately 30 minutes to complete, and covered topics such as racial and educational beliefs, employment, and political idealism. By comparing the survey responses of respondents who had been accepted to TFA and those who had not been accepted, we were able to understand the impact of TFA service on beliefs and careers.

OUTCOMES

Read the full paper on Teach for America's impact.

Participating in Teach For America increases racial tolerance, makes individuals more optimistic about the life chances of poor children, and makes them more likely to work in education following their TFA service.