About Massachusetts

In recent years, Massachusetts has ranked first in the country in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), so it’s easy to overlook the thousands of students who are failing to learn the basic skills needed to succeed in college and beyond. Across the districts where corps members teach, only 23 percent of students will attend a four-year college—less than half the state average. Those who do go on to college often spend their first few years trying to catch up. The Boston Higher Education Partnership found that half of Boston public school graduates who studied math at a local university were required to take remedial classes, and according to the Boston Globe, “Of the Boston public school graduates who went to four-year colleges, 16 percent had left by the end of their first year.”

Despite these statistics, Massachusetts benefits from a policy environment that invites innovation, a long legacy of nonprofits focused on education, and a generous philanthropic community. When Teach For America officially arrived in Massachusetts in 2009, hundreds of alumni were already working as classroom teachers and school leaders, and across a variety of sectors—a tremendous source of energy and talent that has fueled some of the most exciting initiatives in the region.

For example, in Lawrence, a former milltown that is now one of the poorest cities in Massachusetts, students were struggling to achieve in a deeply challenged system. With the community seeking change, stability, and leadership, the state took over and appointed Jeff Riley (Baltimore Corps ‘93) as receiver of Lawrence Public Schools in January 2012. Jeff is working in partnership with established leaders and an influx of fresh talent to unleash the full potential of the Lawrence community in pursuit of educational excellence for the city’s kids.

In 2015, the Boston School Committee elected Tommy Chang, a 1997 Teach For America – Los Angeles corps member, to be the new superintendent of Boston Public Schools. Jeff and Tommy are working in partnership with established leaders and an influx of fresh talent to unleash the full potential of the Lawrence and Boston communities in pursuit of educational excellence for Massachusetts kids.



Total Corps Size


Alumni In The Region


Year Partnership Established

Teaching in Massachusetts

News & Stories

One Day
October 21, 2016
A four-part look at how educators are making every space safe for students, with close-ups on Orlando, New York, and an evolution within Teach For America.
One Day
September 14, 2016
Can incentives like debt relief and no-interest loans inspire more people to become teachers?
September 13, 2016
Meeting the President of the United States is rare. Meeting the President to discuss what you are most passionate about is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Farida Mama (Massachusetts 2011) was granted this opportunity when she visited the White House in October to discuss standardized testing and to talk about her experiences as a classroom teacher.
One Day
March 17, 2016
A Boston nonprofit adapts a loyalty rewards model to provide money in exchange for community-building.
One Day
September 28, 2015
Obscured by the “model minority” myth, Asian American students like Khanh Huynh can struggle to get the help they need.
One Day
September 27, 2015
They fell for each other at summer institute… And it actually lasted.

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