What are principals’ perceptions of Teach For America corps members and alumni?

Conducting the Teach For America 2021 National Principal Survey


For 20+ years, Teach For America (TFA) has hired external researchers to conduct its biennial National Principal Survey, which addresses principals’ perceptions of TFA corps members and alumni.

This survey was last conducted by Westat in 2019. In 2021, Westat administered the survey to 2,000+ principals within the larger context of schools across the country facing disruptions to in-person learning as a result of COVID-19.


Westat developed several new survey items that were designed to collect information on the context of school operations and any disruptions to in-person learning that may have occurred due to COVID-19. For several existing survey items, response options were added that took into account that many schools were in a virtual setting for at least part of the school year.

As in 2019, Westat developed a web-based version of the survey instrument using our SurveyBuilder platform.

Westat administered the survey from March to June 2021 and achieved a 60% response rate. Despite the effects of COVID-19, this year’s response rate was consistent with 2019, in which the response rate was 61%.


The results show that principals were very satisfied overall with corps members and alumni and the training and support provided by TFA to its corps members, with principals reporting increasingly positive views on several key items.

In addition, many principals reported that corps members were critical in helping their school shift from in-person to virtual learning, with principals reporting high levels of leadership from corps members in supporting school-wide virtual learning efforts.

The survey results are used by TFA’s national and regional leadership to plan its activities and programming, and to reflect on its approaches with regard to recruiting, training, and supporting corps members and alumni.

Learn more:

Brief: Teach For America: Principals Report Increasingly Positive Views of Corps Members and Alumni in National Survey (PDF)
Full report: Findings from the 2021 Teach For America National Principal Survey (PDF)

For information on past reports completed by Westat:

Brief: Teach for America: Corps Members and Alumni Viewed Positively by Principals in National Survey (4MB PDF Format)
Full report: Findings from the 2019 Teach For America National Principal Survey (852KB PDF Format)


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