The Partnership for Teacher Excellence brings together The City University of New York (CUNY), New York University (NYU, including the Steinhardt School of Education and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences) and the NYC Department of Education (DOE) to develop and implement an innovative new model for teacher education that will better prepare teachers to teach in New York City public schools, making them more successful quickly, and therefore more likely to remain in the system.
Supported by a $15 million four-year grant from the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation, the Partnership will address New York City’s need for highly qualified, well-trained teachers who will immediately be able to excel in the City’s public schools.
Through an unprecedented collaboration among K-12 educators and higher education faculty in education and the arts and sciences, the Partnership plans innovations in how pre-service teachers–students who are receiving formal education but have not yet become full-time teachers–are taught and by whom; how they first learn the craft of teaching, and how they continue to develop teaching skill throughout their careers. The Partnership will demonstrate how teacher education can be responsive to the City’s most pressing needs, how learning what to teach and learning how to teach can better come together, and how beginning teachers can be ready from the start to work effectively in urban classrooms.
The Partnership will create new designs for undergraduate and graduate teacher education that are distinctive in several ways. They will be:
Based on a shared belief among the partners in a common set of research-based standards defining what excellent teachers must know and be able to do at each stage of their careers.
Situated in NYC public schools, not just universities, with education courses co-developed and co-taught by university faculty and seasoned DOE practitioners to better prepare pre-service teachers to meet the full range of needs among urban public school students.
Designed to attract and motivate the highest quality aspiring teacher candidates to professional careers in education through high standards, engaging and relevant curriculum, and financial incentives.
Connected to ongoing professional support of new teachers also designed and delivered in collaboration between the universities and the DOE, representing shared accountability for the success of new teachers.
Focused on the City’s shortage subjects areas including secondary school math and science; English Language Learners, and special education and designed to provide well-prepared teachers for hard-to-staff schools in every borough.
The three partners will focus on different aspects of the challenge while working closely together on design principles, frameworks for implementing the programs and methods for evaluating the results.
CUNY will initially create a Teacher Academy designed to attract outstanding undergraduates to careers in teaching math and science. Modeled after CUNY’s successful Honors College, the Teacher Academy will be a University initiative created in partnership with six senior colleges (Brooklyn College, City College, College of Staten Island, Hunter College, Lehman College and Queens College. In the Fall of 2006, the Academy will admit 300 undergraduate students in math, biology, chemistry, and environmental science, providing them a deep foundation in their major, a broad general education program and education courses developed cooperatively by CUNY and DOE educators. Students accepted into the Teacher Academy will receive full tuition support for four years and paid summer and after-school internships in schools in return for at least a two-year commitment to teach in NYC public schools.
CUNY will also annually train 15 masters-level students in special education using the Partnership model. CUNY is committed to extending the model to other university education programs, including masters programs for the DOE Teaching Fellows, in the future.
NYU will focus its work with the Partnership on its graduate-level teacher education programs, emphasizing immersion in schools and communities and development of strong content knowledge. New models of coursework and practical experience will be developed by NYU faculty teams from the Steinhardt School of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Social Work in conjunction with the DOE. Initially, approximately 100 candidates will be recruited to graduate programs for teachers of math, science, special education and English Language Learners. NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences will collaborate with the School of Education to enroll undergraduate students in a new five-year BA/MA sequence leading to teacher certification. A portion of NYU’s Partnership students will receive scholarship support in return for at least a two-year commitment to work in NYC public schools.
The DOE will work with the two university partners to develop a teacher education model that is responsive to its most pressing needs. The DOE will designate “host schools” where students will receive some of their coursework and participate in an array of hands-on teaching-related work. Host school teachers and other DOE professionals will collaborate with university faculty to develop and teach coursework onsite. Host schools will be selected to provide models of strong teaching practices in the face of real urban school challenges. The DOE will guarantee successful graduates of Partnership programs job placement in schools with similar challenges, and will work with the Partnership to provide continuing professional support that builds upon the teachers’ pre-service training.
The Partnership has adopted the Professional Teacher Standards created by the Teacher Center at The University of California, Santa Cruz as a common description of the competencies and skills high quality teachers must master over their careers from novice to veteran. These standards will help guide the Partnership in curriculum development and the creation of practical student teaching experiences. The DOE is already using these standards to guide new teacher training and professional development. By introducing the standards to pre-service students, the Partnership expects to accelerate students ability to master the standards.
The Partnership has named an Executive Director, Amy McIntosh, to direct the Partnership’s initiatives. Reporting to a Governing Board including CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, DOE Chancellor Joel I. Klein, NYU President John Sexton and senior leaders from each institution, Ms. McIntosh will coordinate dedicated teams of staff from each partner as they implement their commitments to the Partnership.
Ms. McIntosh has worked with the Department of Education since October 2004, most recently as the Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the Chancellor. Prior to her work in education, Ms. McIntosh had a distinguished, 20-year+ career in the private sector. Her prior leadership roles have included: Senior Vice President, Dun and Bradstreet; CEO, Zagat Survey LLC; and a variety of senior management roles at Verizon and American Express. Additionally, Ms. McIntosh served on the Board of Teach for America, New York City, from 1997-2004, including five years as Chair.