New Book Shares Practices of Teach for America’s Most Successful Teachers

“We have never identified excellent teachers in any reliable, objective way. Instead, we tend to ascribe their gifts to some mystical quality that we can recognize and revere—but not replicate…[Teach For America] has been systematically pursuing this mystery for more than a decade—tracking hundreds of thousands of kids, and analyzing why some teachers can move those kids three grade levels ahead in one year and others can’t.”
—The Atlantic,
 January 2010

NEW YORK, February 9, 2010—Teach For America announces the release of the bookTeaching As Leadership: The Highly Effective Teacher’s Guide to Closing the Achievement Gap, written by Teach For America Chief Knowledge Officer Steven Farr and published by Jossey-Bass. This guidebook for K-12 educators and its companion website are based on Teach For America’s 20 years of studying its most effective teachers. 

Since its inception, Teach For America has trained and supported nearly 25,000 teachers in communities where the academic achievement gap is most pronounced. These teachers have worked with some 3 million children living at or near the poverty line, most of whom are performing well below their peers in higher-income neighborhoods. Sharing hundreds of success stories from these classrooms, Teaching As Leadership demystifies how the most effective teachers in underserved schools lead their students to dramatic academic progress despite the additional challenges of poverty.

The book guides readers through the Teaching As Leadership framework at the foundation of Teach For America’s training and support program. Teach For America developed this framework after observing that the strategies of its most effective teachers were the same strategies employed by successful leaders in any challenging context. The book’s accompanying website,, demonstrates these strategies in action with videos, step-by-step guidance, advice on common pitfalls, and other tools. Teaching As Leadership, with a foreword by 2005 National Teacher of the Year Jason Kamras (D.C. Region Corps ’96) and an afterword by Teach For America CEO and founder Wendy Kopp, is a practical resource and a call to action, affirming that our nation can reach the day when every child has access to an excellent education.

Updated 02-10-2010

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