*Disclaimer: All ribbing was made in jest. I totally respect both the TFA program and Ivy League schools.
My highly scientific study inspired by Teaching in the 408:
Hypothesis: Patriotic salty military veterans make better teachers than
snot nosed young idealistic Ivy League graduates.
Method: Google (do I need to say anymore?)
Survey of TFA school principals by Kane, Parsons & Associates, 2005
Supervisor Perceptions of the Quality of Troops to Teachers Program: Completers and Program Completer Perceptions of their Preparation to Teach: A National Survey
Quality of Training
Three out of four principals (75 percent) rated Teach For America corps members' training as better than that of other beginning teachers.
Nearly all principals (95 percent) reported that corps members' training is at least as good as the training of other beginning teachers.
Impact on Student Achievement
Nearly three out of four principals (74 percent) considered the Teach For America teachers more effective than other beginning teachers with whom they've worked.
The majority of principals (63 percent) regarded Teach For America teachers as more effective than the overall teaching faculty, with respect to their impact on student achievement.
Principals overwhelmingly (over 90%) reported that Troops to Teachers are more effective in classroom instruction and classroom management/student discipline than are traditionally prepared teachers with similar years of teaching experience.Conclusion: While both groups of students do better than traditionally educated teachers, my hypothesis was confirmed. Extensive analysis shows that salty old veterans kick young college educated
Principals stated (89.5%) that T3s have a positive impact on student achievement to a greater degree than do traditionally prepared teachers with similar years of teaching experience.
T3s strongly agreed or agreed that their preparation program equipped them to use research-based instructional practices associated with increased student achievement and effective classroom management behaviors.
School administrators overwhelmingly "strongly agreed" or "agreed" that Troops to Teachers exhibited research-based instructional behaviors to a greater degree than traditionally prepared teachers with comparable years of teaching experience.
Notes: I also suspect that Troops to Teachers could beat Teach for America in a street fight.
Seriously, I think a formal study would make for interesting reading. There are more military veterans than their are top tier college graduates who would be willing to make teaching a long term career.
On a related note, the Air Force has long had their own Community College of the Air Force which enables AF recruits to get an associates degree in their technical specialty.
The problem has been that much of the technical credits wouldn't transfer to four year universities requiring us enlisted to take a significant amount of extra classes to get our bachelors degree. Additionally, since us in the military tend to move pretty often (and go fight annoying little wars), we often have to transfer schools. The end result being that some of our previous traditional classes aren't applicable to the programs at the new location. Online programs are an option, but even they don't accept all of our credits.
This summer, the Air University is going to implement an Associates-to-Baccalaureate program in conjunction with several universities. The program would provide us with several degree programs in which 100% of our CCAF associates degree are transferable. This would mean that after earning our Associates degree, we would only have to complete 60 more credits to get our Bachelors degree. The programs will all be fully accredited, and be able to be completed at any location around the world.
It occurred to me that implementation of this program would significantly increased the number of military veterans retiring with Bachelors degrees which would then enable them to go on to get their teaching credentials.
I have already decided to go into education after I retire (duh...), but feel like I am swimming upstream trying to complete my bachelors degree. I have taken classes at over five different schools in the last 10 years, and though I am very careful with the classes I take, I realize several of them won't be needed for my final degree.
I have actually decided to take this summer off school, partly because I am moving to Alaska, but also to see which degrees and which schools are going to be part of this program.
Update: corrections made to prevent making people cry.