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Study: Teachers In Selective Alternative Routes Match, Exceed Peers

Secondary school math teachers trained through highly selective alternative-route programs, such as Teach For America and the Teaching Fellows program, met and in some cases exceeded their peers in the same schools in terms of their ability to boost students' scores, according to a report just released from Mathematica Policy Research.

That's the bottom-line finding from a new study today that uses a random-assignment methodology—the research gold standard— to compare teachers prepared through such routes to their peers.

I'm still making my way through the study, so expect a longer write-up today at edweek.org.

UPDATED: Our full story is now up.

This is the first impact study of TFA in nearly a decade. A 2004 study, also by Mathematica, found that TFA teachers slightly outperformed a control group of teachers in mathematics. But that study was criticized by some scholars, who noted that the control group had lower rates of certification, less formal education preparation, and less experience in student-teaching than a nationally representative sample.

Stay tuned for more coverage and reaction.

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