Date of this Version



John DiIulio


Education, poverty, non-profit organizations


Since Teach for America's founding in 1989, it has weathered a number of criticisms: could young, well-intentioned corps members unknowingly harm children by virtue of a lack of experience in teaching and unfamiliarity with poverty-stricken, primarily Black and Latino communities? Would a two year time commitment destabilize the already unpredictable lives of poor children? Can a program recruit good teachers, even if it does not require rigorous training or experience with children? And will more educational advocates solve the seemingly intractable problems of low-income schools, if those that already exist have failed thus far? I aim to examine TFA’s model in light of these critiques, using evidence from existing educational research to determine what effect, if any, TFA teachers have on their students. My focus will be on the children that TFA seeks to serve; if I were a student in an inner-city school, would I be better or worse off with a TFA teacher? If I sent my child to a poverty-stricken rural school, would I want a TFA corps member at the head of his/her classroom?



Date Posted: 16 June 2016


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