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Research: TFA Derides Critical Study It Suggested [updated]

Moleskine3Teach For America suggests study to gauge impact of participation on civic involvement, doesn't like results suggesting participants not more likely to be engaged in civic life, claims study doesn't measure real impact of the program (NYT).

UPDATE:  Other bloggers weigh in, even as TFA declines to respond officially to the NYT story or the study on which it's based:  Does TFA Make You a Better Human? GOOD:  Dedication to improving society at large does not necessarily extend beyond the two-year Teach for America commitment...Do TFA Grads Become Lifetime Do-Gooders? EdWeek: The NYT reports that Teach for America graduates are not necessarily more civic-minded than program dropouts or those who are accepted to the program but decline to join...Does TFA Dampen Civic Engagement? Robert Pondiscio: Critics joke that TFA stands for “Teach For Awhile.”  But a new study suggests a more troubling and counterintuitive phenomenon... Experience Breeds Cynicism Gawker:  A survey finds that idealistic youngsters who complete two years teaching at a poor school for TFA subsequently become burned-out cynics with "lower rates of civic involvement" than their non-TFA peers. 


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While the study of TFA isn't the smackdown some suggest it is, it does seem odd that Kopp would minimize the findings as somehow irrelevant, given that she apparently commissioned the study to examine the very effects she seems to dismiss. Had the study turned out differently, she would certainly be trumpeting the results.

That said, the study does NOT seem to suggest that TFA grads are apathetic in absolute terms or that they don't bring real civic commitment to education.

good point, claus --
the reaction to the study is what's most interesting -- similar to reactions to past studies with middling or critical findings.

I think I agree...I'm not so concerned about the actual results of the study (and it did show some engagement specifically in the field of Education, just not in some others), but the way that Kopp reacted to it.

I would personally be quite interested in digging up more data on CM "burnout", and what exactly CMs are burned out towards. Plus, wasn't this questionnaire 34 pages? Us CMs are pretty conditioned towards taking surveys, but that seems a little long, even by TFA standards.

I don't think Kopp's comment on the study is "deriding" it.

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