600 NEW LATINO TEACHERS JOIN TEACH FOR AMERICA’S 25TH-ANNIVERSARY CORPS

National Organization Dedicated to Expanding Educational Opportunity Now Welcoming Applications For Its 2016 Teaching Corps. The First of Five Application Deadlines Is August 21.

Teach for America

NEW YORK CITY, August 11, 2015Teach For America will bring 600 new Latino teachers to classrooms nationwide this fall, representing 15 percent of its newest teaching corps of 4,100. The organization will also mark its first quarter-century this fall with a milestone: Its leadership force of corps members and alumni will top 50,000, including this newest corps of teachers.

The incoming Teach For America corps is as accomplished as ever, and among the most diverse in the organization’s history. By maximizing the diversity of its teaching corps, Teach For America ensures that it is enlisting the country’s top talent, whether they share the backgrounds of students affected by educational inequity or come from backgrounds of privilege. Known for its high admissions standards, Teach For America admitted 15 percent of applicants this year. The incoming corps has an average GPA of 3.4 and includes graduates of nearly 830 colleges and universities across the country. Among the new teachers are 10 Hispanic Scholarship Fund recipients or finalists.

This year, nearly half of the teaching corps identify as people of color (compared with less than 20 percent of teachers nationwide); 47 percent come from low-income backgrounds; 34 percent are the first in their family to graduate from college; one-third applied as professionals or graduate students; more than 20 percent have backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, or math; and almost 20 percent will be teaching in the region they call home.

Teach For America recruits and trains new teachers to work in low-income public schools and make a lifetime commitment to expanding educational opportunities.  The nonprofit organization is among the country’s largest providers of Latino teachers at a time when the need for Latino leadership in education continues to grow. Fifteen percent of the incoming corps identify as Latino, compared with about 8 percent of teachers nationwide, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Today, 25 percent of U.S. students identify as Hispanic, and that number is expected to jump to nearly 30 percent by 2023, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Among Teach For America’s more than 50,000 corps members and alumni, more than 4,300 are Latino. Nearly two-thirds of all Teach For America alumni continue to work in education as teachers, principals, and other education leaders, and others serve their communities as public policy leaders, elected officials, innovators at education technology companies, or leaders in community organizations.

“The problem we’ve taken on is massive and incredibly complex, but 25 years in, we’ve seen through our work and that of our colleagues in this movement that this great injustice of educational equity is solvable,” said Elisa Villanueva Beard, co-CEO of Teach For America. “I’m inspired by our incoming corps members, who bring so many different backgrounds and experiences to this effort, and who have chosen to raise their hand to take on one of the greatest acts of leadership anyone can choose to do, which is to teach in our nation’s highest-need communities. We’ve seen in the history of our nation that the most progress is made when we put the most outstanding and diverse talent our nation has to offer against our biggest problems, and I’m proud to see so many young Latino teachers focused on this effort.”

Teach For America works to build lasting partnerships with Latino national and community organizations to recruit more Latino undergraduates and professionals into the teaching profession and to better address the needs of a growing Latino student population. Together with organizations like United We Dream, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), and League of United Latin American Citizens, Teach For America works to provide all students access to an excellent education.

“Teach for America shares our commitment to developing the next generation of Latino leaders, including the educators who will help provide better educational opportunities and increase the life outcomes for all children,” said Alejandra Ceja, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. “We applaud their efforts to place more Latino teachers in both long-standing and emerging Hispanic communities around the country while helping build the leadership skills of our Latino youth.”

Teach For America also partners with campus organizations to recruit at hundreds of colleges. In 2012, Teach For America launched its Latino Greek Initiative to encourage more young Latino leaders to pursue teaching. This year, the organization began a partnership with Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority, the country’s largest Latina-based, multicultural sorority, with over 150 chapters and alumnae associations nationwide. In addition, Teach For America regularly leads Latino Leadership Summits in cities across the country to promote a better understanding among emerging Latino leaders of the educational inequities that Latino, minority, and low-income students face.

Teach For America has also partnered with schools and districts to create a path to teaching for individuals with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. More than 50 new DACAmented teachers joined the corps this year, bringing the total number of DACAmented corps members to more than 90, teaching in 12 regions nationwide. Six DACAmented Teach For America teachers were among nine Champions of Change honored at the White House in July. These teachers include Marissa Molina, who is the only Latina teacher in her Colorado public school, where 55 percent of students identify as Latino.

Teach For America is now welcoming applications for its 2016 teaching corps, which will enter classrooms in fall 2016. The first application deadline is August 21, with four additional deadlines through March 2016. Accepted applicants will teach at more than 3,000 partnering public schools, reaching a student population that is more than 80 percent Latino or African American and more than 80 percent low-income. Learn more about Teach For America at www.teachforamerica.org

Teach For America suggested Tweet: 600 new Latino teachers join 25th-anniversary corps of @TeachForAmerica. For more info, visit: www.teachforamerica.org