Starting in 2002, Teach for America began using student test-score progress data to put teachers into one of three categories: those who move their students one and a half or more years ahead in one year; those who achieve one to one and a half years of growth; and those who yield less than one year of gains.
According to the article, the characteristics could be summarized as:
At the moment, TfA claims larger gains than can be independently verified (which are also only for math) but their approach still looks promising...
So far, only one independent, random-assignment study of Teach for America’s effectiveness has been conducted. That report, published by Mathematica Policy Research in 2004, looked at the organization’s teachers and found that, in math, their students significantly outperformed those of their more experienced counterparts. (In reading, though, the teachers’ students did the same as other teachers’ students.) Another study is due out in 2012 or 2013.
For the teaching of reading, Siegfried Engelmann's Direct Instruction seems to have years of evidence. And you can purchase an e-tutor that implements the method for home use