May 31, 2016; Washington Post

Teach for America has found the challenges of maturing as an organization and needing to adapt to a changing environment quite daunting. After years of steady growth, TFA has seen the number of young adults applying to become a part of their teaching corps decline by 35 percent over the past three years. The declining level of interest they were finding on college campuses caused them to reduce their central staff by 15 percent and pushed their leadership to think about their future.

It appears that the voices of critics who have challenged TFA’s effectiveness have begun to resonate on the campuses where corps members are recruited, dulling enthusiasm for their mission.

Jennifer Wolf, who teaches education courses at Stanford University, said those criticisms appear to have taken hold among students who are deeply concerned about social justice issues. They seem less interested in applying to TFA now than they were several years ago, she said, and if they do apply, they are less likely to