February 5, 2020

What's New at NCTR?

Black History Month 

NCTR will acknowledge Black History Month by celebrating the achievements of African Americans and the contributions they make to the U.S. and the world 365 days a year.  This month grew out of “Negro History Week,” an idea developed by historian Carter G. Woodson (  Woodson was an “American historian, author, journalist, and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He was one of the first scholars to study African-American history” (Wikipedia).  NCTR will use the E-Blast this month to bring attention to the experiences and perspectives of Black students and teachers with a Black History Month Focus each week.

In our continued commitment to strengthening the residency model, NCTR staff and Network partners are focused on how residency programming best serves the needs of students and teachers of color. This year, our programming theme is "Teacher Residencies – A Lever for Equity."  Our partners have been infusing racial equity into residency design and programming by adopting and deepening culturally and linguistically sustaining practices. Other Network residencies are focused on strategies to recruit, prepare, and retain Black educators specifically, exploring community-based recruitment; scholarships, stipends, and emergency funds to offset financial barriers; sustained test preparation; anti-racist training for staff and mentors; and, facilitating affinity groups to build community and promote empowerment of Black residents and graduates.

NCTR and our partner residencies demonstrate a commitment to training effective teachers to support historically underserved communities: 97% of residents teach in Title I schools which serve predominantly African American and Latinx students, and one-third of graduates work with students who are learning English.  Studies have shown numerous benefits for Black students, and for all students, who have access to Black teachers and other teachers of color. Residency candidates’ identities more closely reflect the students they teach than do other pathways.  Fifty five percent (55%) of residents identify as people of color, compared to 18% of teachers of color in the teaching force at large. NCTR partner residencies demonstrate that the residency model is attracting, preparing, and retaining a more effective and diverse teaching force.

Black History Month Focus 

Black Lives Matter At Schools Week Of Action

February 3 kicked off the Black Lives Matter At School Week of Action which is led by a national coalition of organizations focused on racial justice in education.  BLM week offers several ways to get engaged and elevate their key messages about racial equity in school.  BLM At School’s four demands draw attention to several issues that align to the residency model's theory of action to close the opportunity gap by improving access to diverse, effective teachers, including incorporating restorative justice in schools, hiring more Black teachers, revising curriculum to teach Black history and ethnic studies, and increasing student support services.

Teaching for Change

DC Area Educators for Social Justice, a project of the national Teaching for Change initiative, has created lessons, films, books, readings, and general teaching guides for educators to participate in Black Lives Matter At School Week of Action.  Lesson plans span PK-12.   

Partner Update

Boston Teacher Residency founder Jesse Solomon discusses the importance of a clinical-based teaching residency in Teaching Hospitals and Teaching Teachers, in this month’s edition of The Practice, a journal of legal education from the Harvard School of Law.  “The BTR program is both a reflection of the rich tradition of the practical training in teacher education as well as an innovative extension of that model in a way that emphasizes the importance of practice from day one.”

Featured News

California Budget Proposal

The Sacramento Bee examines California Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget in Teacher Bonuses and Classroom Prep: Inside Newsom’s $900 million plan for California Schools.  The budget represents a significant investment in the teacher workforce and brings attention to teacher diversity gaps in California schools.  Newsom proposed $200 million for “workforce shortages” and another $175 million for teacher residencies dedicated to high-need subjects and schools.

Dr. Travis J. Bristol, a member of NCTR’s Board of Directors, was quoted in the article, commenting, “What I appreciate about the budget is it reminds the public that teaching is a profession and in order to become better in the profession, you have to spend time learning the craft of teaching.” 

The article draws attention to Black students who are concentrated in 23 high-poverty school districts that are “not experiencing narrowed achievement gaps” and the Governor’s budget proposals that are tailored toward building a more diverse workforce.  

““My caution,” Bristol added, “is we don’t want to create policies where black and Latinx teachers are only working with black and Latinx students. We want white children in Davis, the Berkeley hills, white children across the state to have access and learn from a person of color, as they prepare to be global citizens.””

In the News
Teach to Lead Summit
 Submit a proposal to the 19th Teacher Leadership   Summit in San Juan, March 27-29, 2020. The Puerto Rico Teacher Leadership Summit will bring teacher leaders and other stakeholders together to collaborate, problem solve, and develop action plans to benefit students and school communities. Teams must include at least one practicing classroom teacher, and idea submissions can address any perceived area of need in schools, as long as the plan leverages teacher leadership as a key strategy for meeting that need. The deadline for idea submissions is February 10, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. Find more information on submitting a proposal hereAccepted ideas will be notified the week of March 2nd. 
Please note that the articles and events in the NCTR E-Blast do not reflect the opinions of our organization, but rather represent information that we believe will be relevant to you and your programs.

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