Robert S. Castellini

Dec 3, 2021

3 min read

CRBC’s Support for Teach for America Benefits Cincinnati Learners

The Cincinnati Regional Business Committee (CRBC) was founded to engage Cincinnati’s leading corporate executives to better their local community. Comprising more than 80 executives from large and mid-cap companies, CRBC focuses on three core areas to advance positive change: economic development, government affairs, and education reform. One way the organization improves education in Cincinnati is by supporting Teach for America (TFA). When TFA started a local chapter in Cincinnati, CRBC gave the largest $300,000 to support its work in the first three years.

TFA is a nonprofit dedicated to advancing equitable education to the country’s youth. Working through local leaders trained to teach students from low-income families, the nonprofit helps these children unlock their full potential, positioning them for better lives.

Education inequity is a huge problem in the United States. About 1.3 million children drop out of high school every year, most of whom are children of color from low-income households. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, children from low-income households drop out twice as much as their peers from high-income families.

In Ohio, communities in Cincinnati face similar challenges. More than half the children in the city live in poverty, the second-highest rate in the United States. This lack of resources negatively impacts graduation rates. In nearby Cleveland, for example, one-third of high school students do not graduate.

TFA recruits promising leaders in the early years of their careers and enrolls them into the TFA Corps to fight education inequality. It then commits them to a two-year teaching program at a local public school where they will advance learning to students in classroom settings, teaching all grade levels and subject areas. They also engage with their students’ families, providing a pillar of support for those that need it. After two years of teaching, the professionals join the TFA alumni network.

TFA recruits professionals who demonstrate a track record of achievement, a spirit of perseverance, and a belief in the potential of all children. Since 1990, it has recruited over 64,000 professionals into its TFA Corps. These corps members have taught millions of children in over 2,500 public schools.

TFA currently has 5,450 corps members teaching more than 367,000 students across the country. These lessons are very beneficial to students. Studies by the US Department of Education have found that students taught by TFA Corps members have a stronger proficiency in math and outperform their peers in reading. Other studies have found that these students are less likely to skip school.

Furthermore, about 90 percent of public school principals where TFA corps members teach appreciate the positive contributions and strong relationships that corps members bring to their schools. Thanks to the generous support of CRBC, public schools in low-income communities in Cincinnati will get to experience some of these benefits.

But TFA improves students’ learning and impacts the lives of corps members. Before joining the corps, only one in 10 members were education majors, and one in five wanted to become teachers. After teaching for two years and seeing the positive change, they can create in their communities, most TFA alumni (80 percent) now work in education or have professional roles serving low-income communities. TFA corps members from Cincinnati may also follow this trajectory, dedicating themselves to serving underserved students in their communities for longer than two years.