Every student deserves a great teacher, and we believe that high-quality teachers are essential to building great schools, great communities, and a great country. That’s why The Broad Foundation was an early and is a continuing supporter of Teach For America (TFA) .
Teach For America began as an idea—the 1989 senior thesis of Wendy Kopp, who believed that recent college graduates would want to address longstanding issues of educational inequity from within the classroom and would be motivated to teach in underserved communities. From that idea, Kopp created Teach for America to recruit and develop young leaders to commit to teaching in schools in high-need communities for at least two years. The fledgling organization recruited 384 teachers in its first year.
Today, more than 25 years later, Teach For America is the single largest and most diverse preparation program for teachers serving schools in low-income neighborhoods. Sixty-four percent of the 2015 corps identify as people of color or are from a low-income background, and one-third are the first in their family to graduate from college. Teach For America corps members achieve positive academic results for their students. According to a Mathematica study, corps members who teach pre-K through second grade boosted student reading scores by an amount equal to 1.3 months of additional learning time compared to their fellow teachers. In middle and high school math, students taught by corps members achieve 2.6 months of extra learning.
TFA’s more than 42,000 alumni are driving positive change across the country. Today, 85 percent work in roles in public education or in low-income communities, including as school leaders, elected officials, advocates and union leaders. Inspired by the organization’s mission to support future leaders as part of the movement for educational equity and excellence, The Broad Foundation began supporting Teach For America in 2000—it was one of our first investments. The foundation’s support—to date, more than $40 million—has helped Teach For America expand in areas of need like Detroit and New Orleans.
number of alumni
Photo Credits: Jean-Christian Bourcart, Mike Carroll, Sally Ryan and Willie Petersen.