September, 2010Teach For America is a New York-based organization that recruits and develops outstanding recent college graduates of all academic majors to commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools, and to become lifelong leaders in the effort to ensure educational opportunity for all children in our nation. A number of recent studies document the successes of Teach For America teachers in Louisiana, North Carolina, and New York City-helping to raise student achievement and outperforming other new teachers-and as the alumni force matures, there is increasing evidence of the organization's long-term impact as well.
Teach For America was founded in 1990 by Wendy Kopp, who had graduated from Princeton the previous year (she first explored the idea of national teacher corps in her undergraduate thesis). She has remained the organization's leader ever since, and today she is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading voices on improving American education. In a September 2010 interview with the Kauffman Foundation, she answered questions on a number of subjects, including Teach For America's growth, what she's learned over the past twenty years, and how entrepreneurship fits with teaching.