Basic Organization Information
Teach for America, Inc.
- Also Known As:
Teach For America
- Physical Address:
New York, NY
- Web URL:
- NTEE Category:
B Educational Institutions
B20 Elementary, Secondary Ed
W Public, Society Benefit
W70 Leadership Development
S Community Improvement, Capacity Building
S20 Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement
- Year Founded:
- Ruling Year:
- How This Organization Is Funded:
US Department of Education - $18,000,000
Americorps - $11,000,000
Walton Family Foundation - $10,000,000
Teach For America's mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting our nation's most promising future leaders in the effort. We do this by building a corps of outstanding recent college graduates of all academic majors who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in ensuring educational excellence for all children.
Impact Summary from the Nonprofit
Since our inception in 1990, Teach For America has grown to include a network of 28,000 individuals who have committed two years to teach in low income communities across the nation. After nearly 20 years, Teach For America teachers (called corps members) have reached more than 3 million students, and our alumni continue to have an important long-term impact. Currently, corps members represent between 10-15% of new teachers hired in high-poverty schools across our 39 regional sites.
Ms. Wendy Kopp
Wendy Kopp is the chief executive officer and founder of Teach For America. Kopp proposed the creation of Teach For America in her undergraduate senior thesis in 1989 and has spent the last 20 years working to sustain and grow the organization. Kopp is the author of, One Day, All Children: The Unlikely Triumph of Teach For America and What I Learned Along the Way (Public Affairs, 2001). Kopp serves on the board of directors of The New Teacher Project, and on the advisory boards of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, Duke University's Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship and the National Council on Teacher Quality. Kopp holds honorary doctorate degrees from more than seven universities, including Princeton (2000). She is the youngest person and the first woman to receive Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson Award (1993), the highest honor the school confers on its undergraduate alumni. In 2008, Time Magazine recognized her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world; in 2006, U.S. News & World Report recognized her as one of America's Best Leaders. Kopp has also been recognized with The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education Award (2006), the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award (2004), the Clinton Center Award for Leadership and National Service (2003), the Schwab Foundation's Outstanding Social Entrepreneur Award (2003), Aetna's Voice of Conscience Award (1994), the Citizen Activist Award from the Gleitsman Foundation (1994), and the Jefferson Award for Public Service (1991). Kopp holds a bachelor's degree from Princeton University. She resides in New York City with her husband Richard Barth and their three sons.
Board of Directors
Highest Paid Employees & Their Compensation
United States Teaching Corp
- Population Served:
Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)
Young Adults (20-25 years) -- currently not in use
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General
At Teach For America, we are working with a great sense of urgency to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting our nation's most promising future leaders in the effort.We recruit outstanding recent college graduates of all majors and career interests and working professionals to commit to teach for at least two years in urban and rural public schools, and we invest in the training and professional development necessary to ensure their success as teachers in our highest-poverty communities. Our teachers, also called corps members, go above and beyond traditional expectations to lead their students to significant academic achievement, overcoming the challenges of poverty despite the current capacity of the school system. Additionally, in succeeding with their students, corps members show that children in low-income communities and children of color can achieve at high levels, thus influencing the prevailing ideology.At the same time, we know that teachers who go above and beyond to compensate for the extra challenges facing children and the weaknesses of the system are not the ultimate solution. We believe that the best hope for a lasting solution is to build a massive force of leaders who have the insight and conviction that comes from teaching successfully in low-income communities. During their two-year commitments, corps members see firsthand that educational inequity is a problem we can solve and gain a grounded understanding of how to solve it. As alumni, they bring strong leadership to every level of the school system and across all fields, working to minimize the extra challenges facing children growing up in low-income communities, build the capacity of schools and school systems, and change the prevailing ideology through their examples and advocacy.
Program Long-Term Success:
While we have accomplished much since our inception in 1990, we have never felt more acutely the potential of Teach For America to contribute still more. Each day we see the realities of educational inequity, juxtaposed against concrete evidence that when students in low-income communities are given the opportunities they deserve, they excel. And so, in 2005 we launched an ambitious growth plan, resolving to build a truly effective movement to eliminate educational inequity by becoming bigger and better. Reaching these goals will enable us to realize the potential of our mission and theory of change. The four priorities are:
- Grow in scale while increasing diversity
- Maximize the impact of corps members on student achievement
- Foster the leadership of our aluimni as a force for change
- Build an enduring institution
Program Short-Term Success:
In order to ensure that we are effective in reaching our goals, we will focus our national and regional efforts on two key priorities:
1) Increase the measurable impact of our corps members on their students’ achievement: corps members will receive improved training and support to maximize their effectiveness in the classroom.
2) Accelerate the leadership of our alumni as a force for change: alumni will enter into positions of leadership in key sectors to improve the educational chances and life quality of the students we serve.Teach For America is making significant progress toward its ambitious 2010 student achievement and alumni leadership goals and will detail outcomes in fall 2010 as results are finalized.
Program Success Monitored by:
Teach For America is committed to comprehensive external evaluations of our teachers’ impact. A growing body of research indicates that Teach For America corps members are at least as effective (and in many cases, more effective) than their peers who enter the teaching profession through both traditional and other alternative-certification pathways.
Internally, we continue to measure progress against our short- and long-term goals to provide feedback to staff and teachers while managing and improving our program. In the coming years, we are developing a new student achievement measurement system that will provide an even better way to accurately measure student growth and thus gain a deeper understanding into the drivers of effective training and development for our teachers.
Program Success Examples:
Firsthand experience has shown us that, when given the opportunity, students in low-income communities can and will achieve at high levels. Armed with this knowledge, our corps members and alumni work relentlessly to increase academic achievement and expand educational opportunities for their students.
Since our inception in 1990, the Teach For America network has grown to include more than 28,000 individuals. Currently, some 6,200 Teach For America corps members teach in 39(http://www.teachforamerica.org/corps/placement_regions/placement_regions.htm) urban and rural areas profoundly affected by the achievement gaour more than 20,000 alumni leverage their corps experience to improve outcomes and opportunities for low-income students and to fight for systemic reform.
Because of the impact our corps members and alumni are having in the short and long term, there is tremendous demand within communities and larger education reform circles for Teach For America. In fact, we are growing our presence in regions where we already place corps members, and will be expanding to new communities for the 2010-11 school year.
Expert Reviews and Comments
Evidence of Impact
Teach for America is praised for enhancing the pipeline of young, talented, and energetic teachers into schools that need it the most. Their success is credited with elevating the need for quality teachers to the national level.
The organization's top leadership, staff, and operations draw consistent praise from experts. Their branding and awareness were also mentioned by multiple respondents.
Areas for Improvement
Experts believe the TFA recruiting and training model could be tweaked to enhance retention and teaching efficacy. Multiple respondents also note collaboration as an area in which the organization could be more helpful to the field.