New York City Named Great District for Great Teachers by National Council on Teacher Quality

  • Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 Updated: Thu Apr 19, 2018

Award Recognizes Investments in Professional Development and Teacher Leadership

NEW YORK – Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced today that the New York City Department of Education was named a winner in the first-ever Great Districts for Great Teachers initiative by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ). New York City is one of eight winning districts following an 18-month evaluation and analysis of data and policies by NCTQ.

The DOE was recognized for its work fostering development and supporting leadership and collaboration among the 77,000 teachers working across New York City public schools. This administration has added 80 minutes of rigorous, weekly professional development for every teacher in every school to come together with their colleagues and improve their craft. Over the last three years, the DOE has also established an unprecedented career ladder for teachers; there are currently over 1,200 Model, Peer Collaborative, and Master Teachers coaching their colleagues and driving innovation and instructional practices at schools across the City.

“Providing high-quality instruction is at the center of everything we do, and that’s exactly why we have emphasized teacher development, leadership and collaboration from Day 1 of this administration,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “We are honored to be recognized as a Great District for Great Teachers, and we are also seeing the results of our work across multiple measures – record-high graduation and college enrollment rates, record-low dropout rates, and strong improvements in State test scores.”

In addition to the 80 minutes of weekly professional development, the DOE has taken extensive actions to develop and recognize teachers, including developing new Citywide instructional resources. Resources include the Professional Learning Handbook; the Passport to Social Studies, a comprehensive K–8 social studies curriculum; a first-of-its-kind comprehensive English Language Arts and writing curriculum for high school teachers; a STEM Framework, along with an updated Science Scope & Sequence; and strong literacy resources, including a new Vocabulary Practice Guide, Independent Reading Guide, and guides on teaching Cursive and Manuscript Writing. Collaborative programs like Showcase Schools, the Middle School Quality Initiative, and Learning Partners also bring educators together to improve instruction.

The DOE also supports teacher development, recognition, and leadership through the New Teacher Mentoring program. All new teachers receive a year of instructional mentoring from an experienced colleague at their school; each year, the DOE trains 600 new teacher mentors – an opportunity for teachers to improve their own craft and take on leadership roles.

NCTQ also recognized the Big Apple Awards as a unique celebration and recognition of teacher practice. Big Apple winners and finalists also have an opportunity to represent teachers citywide as part of the Chancellor’s Advisory Group and the DOE’s Teacher Excellence Network. Last year, there were more than 4,600 nominations for the Big Apple Awards, more than double the number of nominations received in the first year of the Awards.

Teacher development and leadership is also central to the City’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda. The eight new Equity and Excellence for All initiatives offer teachers an opportunity to grow and take on additional challenges, including becoming Universal Literacy reading coaches, participating in intensive training as they “departmentalize” math instruction at their schools as part of Algebra for All, and teaching new Advanced Placement and Computer Science courses. 

“I am proud to be a New York City teacher, and excited that New York City has been recognized as a Great District for Great Teachers,” said Anna Bennett, a 5th-grade teacher at PS 59 in Manhattan and Big Apple Award winner. “There are endless opportunities to grow and be challenged as a teacher in New York City; around every bend, there seems to be another opportunity to refine my practice, to take thoughtful risks in my teaching, and to grow as a leader. Above all, New York City teachers are so lucky to serve such exceptional, eager, and open-minded students.” 

“Great Districts for Great Teachers is a celebration of great teaching,” said Kate Walsh, President of NCTQ. “We celebrate the hard, often politically challenging efforts by a special group of school districts who have managed to put together policies and practices that make them great places for great teachers to work.”

In addition to New York City, other Great Districts for Great Teachers include: Boston Public Schools, Broward County School District, Denver Public Schools, District of Columbia Public Schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Pinellas County School District, and Pittsburgh Public Schools.

The eight winners excelled on five criteria that research suggests connect to effective teaching – compensation, professional support, effective management and operations, career and leadership opportunities, and support services for students.

More information is available on the Great Districts for Great Teachers website.
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