The new “Teachers of Tomorrow” Program, proposed by Governor George E. Pataki and approved by the New York State Legislature this spring, brings new hope and important resources to this statewide effort to hire, train and certify teachers. I congratulate the Governor for his emphasis on providing incentives to new teachers who agree to work in designated shortage areas and for giving this pressing need such a high priority.
I also commend the Governor for the innovative “Summer in the City” Internship Program, which will encourage college students from around the State to gain classroom experience in New York City schools. As the program is expanded to inner-city schools throughout New York, we will continue to work with the Governor’s Office to encourage CUNY student participation.
In New York City, there is a severe shortage of qualified applicants, especially in the critical areas of mathematics and science. We understand that up to 54,000 current teachers may be needed over the next five years and thousands of new teachers will be required to staff the universal pre-kindergarten program.
The City University of New York is committed to working closely with the Board of Education and its leadership — President Thompson and Chancellor Levy — to increase opportunities for teacher education and to strengthen existing programs. The high priority of this collaboration was illustrated this week by the appointment of a new University Dean for Teacher Education, Dr. Nicholas Michelli, by the Board of Trustees following a national search and the recommendation of Chancellor Matthew Goldstein.
The new City University of New York Master Plan, unanimously adopted on May 22, 2000, emphasizes major University commitments to teacher education in the next four years. We expect to utilize the “Teachers of Tomorrow” program to its maximum value, as we work to improve teacher education program performance and to publicize the new incentives provided by the Governor and the Legislature.