Teach For America-Jacksonville
Teach For America-Jacksonville's mission is to eliminate educational inequality in Jacksonville by enlisting our nation’s most promising future leaders
About Your Organization
Teach For America-Jacksonville
United States, FL, Jacksonville
Country where this project is creating social impact
Is your organization a
Non‐profit / NGO / Citizen sector organization
Your role in Education
The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with
How long has your organization been operating?
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Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Scaling (the next step will be growing impact on a regional or even global scale)
How long has your solution been in operation?
Operating for 1‐5 years
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
Right now, thousands of children in Jacksonville growing up in poverty are denied access to the quality education they deserve and are facing enormous barriers to success. In Jacksonville eighth graders from these communities are approximately half as likely to be proficient in reading and math as their more affluent peers and less than 5% of children from low-income communities graduate from college. For students to develop the empathy needed to be productive citizens they need to master basic critical thinking skills and have access to great teachers who empower their leadership and foster their social and academic growth.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
Teach For America seeks to tackle the fundamental challenges associated with providing a high quality education for students in low-income communities by recruiting and developing a corps of teacher leaders who commit to teaching at least two years in low-income public schools. With extensive training and support, these corps members work to ensure that low-income students have access to the educational opportunities they deserve. To help ensure all students in Jacksonville are receiving an excellent education we have approximately 100 corps members serving thousands of students in 24 Title 1 Schools across the north and northwest quadrants of the city, where the achievement gap is most visible. They work relentlessly to change educational prospects for the approximately 8,000 students in Jacksonville they teach each day.
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
Kory Von Leue, a 2009 Jacksonville corps member, is currently the Teacher of the Year at his school in Jacksonville. Kory has taught his students since kindergarten and has looped up with his class each year. By joining Teach For America (TFA), Kory has been able to use his sociology, political science and history majors to empower his students to write their own histories and imagine a better world. Through much work with and support from TFA, Kory was able to have an immediate impact on his students in only his first few years teaching. His 2nd grade students now read, on average, at a third grade level and have never experienced the achievement gap. Additionally, Kory has created a nurturing and inspiring classroom that has dramatically changed the educational and life trajectories of the students he teaches, building in his students empathy, and the teamwork and leadership skills to be successful over the long term. Kory and his students’ success highlights TFA’s proven success at recruiting our nation’s future leaders and training and empowering them to become transformational teaches who inspire their students, invest them in their own education, and ultimately provide them with an excellent education.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
There are many non-profits and educational organizations in our community whose work helps support our mission to provide all children with a quality education, including, but not limited to: The Jacksonville Public Education Fund, KIPP Impact, Tiger Academy, Communities in Schools, The Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership. However, TFA is the only organization that provides a human capital pipeline which actively attracts and recruits high qualified individuals to serve as teachers in low –income communities and develop the leadership that will fuel educational reform in Jacksonville. In fact, many of these organizations include numerous TFA alumni on their staffs.
Now that you have thought out your entry, help us pitch it.
Define your company, program, service, or product in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
Teach For America’s mission is to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting our nation’s most promising future leaders in this effort.
Identify what is innovative about your solution in 1-2 short sentences [136 characters]
We recruit and develop outstanding leaders who commit to teach two years in schools who serve low-income students in Jacksonville.
This Entry is about (Issues)
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Multiple quantitative and qualitative date points prove our success empowering the over 8,000 underprivileged children we serve everyday to be the authors of their own lives and the leaders of tomorrow by providing a transformational education. Here are three key highlights:
1. An independent study found that in every subject and grade level tested, students of corps members performed better than comparable control groups.
2. On average, 2nd grade students of corps members made at least two times the reading growth than students of all other teachers, including veteran teachers.
3. Currently a corps member or alumni is the Teacher of the Year in 20% of the schools we serve, even though we represent less than 11% of the teacher populations of those schools.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
By 2015 we will have established ourselves as a local non-profit institution with a broad base of support, whose scale and impact is beginning to move the needle of education inequality in Jacksonville. To accomplish this, by 2015 we will have built an unstoppable force of over 350 corps members and alumni who are working relentlessly to close the education gap by affecting change at all levels of education and directly impacting the lives of over 25% of all children form low-income communities in Jacksonville.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
The major barriers we face are strategically working with our school district to place corps members, improving and expanding our teacher training program, securing a broader funding base to ensure sustainable growth, and building community partnerships to utilize collective resources that maximize our corps members’ impact.
To overcome these barriers we are actively engaging new and current community partners. Working with these key civic leaders, organizations, and local institutions will allow us to sustainably provide excellent teachers to our most underserved schools, who will ensure a transformational education that empowers the lives of the children and communities we serve.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Have 150 teachers with mindsets, skills, knowledge needed to close the achievement gap in Jacksonville for 13,for 13,000 kids
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Recruit/train 100 new corps members to be highly effective teachers, while developing 2nd year corps members into leaders
Place 100 corps members in high needs schools across Duval County where they'll have the greatest impact on the achievement gap.
Increase funding across all streams to facilitate the sustainable growth of our corps member size and community impact.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Forge sustainable momentum by creating proof points that success at a high level is possible for our students
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Increase classroom success by improving teacher leadership and development program and developing our corps members into leaders
Deepen our relationships with community partners and DCPS. Forge new partnerships with education, community, and civic organizat
Build local institution with solid support base that responsibly sustains growth and impact preparing us to reach our 2015 goal
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
In 2007 community leaders in Jacksonville sought out Teach For America as a vital part of the solution to improve educational prospects for students in Duval County, one of the lowest performing school districts in the state. This group, consisting of approximately 20 local individuals and corporations, provided the majority of the funding up-front to bring Teach For America to Jacksonville and sustain its operations for the first four years from 2008-2011. Since Teach For America – Jacksonville brought in its first 50 corps members in 2008, we have impacted the lives of over 24,000 minority and low-income students in Jacksonville.
Tell us about your partnerships
We seek to build broad community support by engaging local, state, and national stakeholders. Locally we are in partnership with the Duval County Public Schools, local principles, government officials, community organizations, education programs, and business and philanthropic leaders. We are also in partnership with both local and national foundations, national and international corporations, and with state and national governmental programs. These partnerships allow us to increase our effectiveness and maximize our impact.
What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section? [75 words]
Key to our success is our staff who facilitate, train, and support our corps members and organization. Our program team provides training, guidance and ongoing professional development for our corps members and alumni. Our district and community relations team engages local supporters in our work and builds relationship to strategically leverage our impact. Finally, our development team supports our organization by building a sustainable, local institution that engages a broad base of supporters.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list