Teach for America has responded to the study by Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford education professor, which concludes certified teachers are more effective than uncertified TFA teachers. Citing the Mathematica study (pdf) which found TFA teachers are more effective in teaching math than other teachers in the same schools, TFA charges the Darling-Hammond study confounded experience with certification.
. . . the analysis does not recognize the fact that in Houston over 95 percent of our first year corps members are not fully certified, and over 90 percent of our second year teachers are.
This is a significant point, since most teachers make large gains in effectiveness in their first year of teaching.
TFA also links to an indendent analysis of the Darling-Hammond study (pdf) by Mike Podgursky, a University of Missouri economics professor. And here’s a letter to the Stanford Daily from TFA founder Wendy Kopp.