What's New at NCTR?

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is hosting an invitation-only conference in Seattle this week titled “Reimagining Teacher Preparation Together.” The conference brings together Teacher Preparation Transformation Center grantees to share what they’ve learned with leaders from states, school districts, nonprofits, research organizations, and advocacy groups. NCTR is represented by CEO Anissa Listak, Chief Innovation Officer Jill Pitner, Chief External Relations Officer Tamara Azar, and Associate Director Erica Hines.

Partner Updates

Inspired Teaching recently led a teacher training program in Thailand at the Chiang Mai International School. Deputy Director Dave Yarmchuk noted that, differences aside, teachers in both Thailand and in Washington, D.C. are “eager to push themselves to engage students in new ways of learning.” Read more about Yarmuck’s reflections on the trip.

Webinars and Events

The Data Quality Campaign is hosting a webinar tomorrow (Thursday, Oct. 4) to examine what states can do to ensure they are using data to build an educator workforce that meets their educational needs. “Despite continued concerns about teacher shortages, many states do not collect teacher supply data from preparation programs and even fewer connect that information with teacher demand data from districts.” Using Data to Strengthen Your State's Teacher Pipeline starts at 1:30pm EDT.  You can register here.


For its new report, The Opportunity Myth, researchers from The New Teacher Project interviewed 4,000 students in five diverse school districts and observed 1,000 classroom lessons. They wanted to learn why so many students graduate from high school unprepared for the lives they want to lead. They found that, across all five school systems, students were missing out on four key in-school resources: grade-appropriate assignments, strong instruction, deep engagement, and teachers who hold high expectations.

New research on California’s teacher shortage finds that teacher turnover accounts for 88 percent of the state’s demand for new teachers. The project includes 36 reports, released this week, written by more than 100 authors. One report of note found California's teacher data system makes it difficult to evaluate teachers' capabilities, diagnose weaknesses in teacher preparation programs, or assess the effectiveness of various professional pathways.

Dallas Principal Anna Galvan talks about why she hires residency grads.
Featured News

Closing Achievement Gaps in Diverse and Low-Poverty Schools

Despite being one of the most studied and well researched problems in public education, achievement gaps persist among students from varying racial and economic backgrounds. We know that the causes of achievement gaps are complex, interrelated and hard to isolate, and research tells us that solving them means addressing the interconnections between the instructional, emotional, and practical needs of students, their families, and educators. A new report by Public Impact examined 150 achievement gap studies that were conducted over the last decade. The goal of producing Closing Achievement Gaps in Diverse and Low-Poverty Schools was to identify evidence-based approaches that boost outcomes for disadvantaged students, and do so without reducing their access to advanced instruction.

The report’s recommendations align closely to many of the tenets and principles that undergird the residency model: High-quality and effective teachers for all students, teachers and school climates that are diverse and culturally sensitive, and equipping educators with an equity mindset.

Highlights from the report’s recommendations include:
  • Outstanding learning for all
    • Guarantee excellent teachers and principals for all students
    • Access to high standards, materials and learning opportunities
    • Screen for and address learn differences; personalize instruction
  • Secure and healthy learners
    • Meet basic needs, including meals, reduce school transitions from housing changes, respond to trauma
    • Foster wellness via school-based health clinics, social-emotional learning, address mental health challenges
  • Culture of equity
    • Access to advanced opportunities, culturally relevant assignments, and research-based, non-discriminatory disciplinary policies
    • Equip individuals to act by developing leadership and conduct consistently, ongoing anti-bias training
The report’s authors write that districts committed to chipping away at achievement gaps must improve their schools in each of these areas. Choosing just one or two generally won’t yield long-lasting results, they found.
In the News
Hard Words: Why aren't kids being taught to read?
American Public Media
Although science has shown how children learn to read and how they should be taught, many educators actively resist it.
How Indiana’s largest school district is revamping student teaching
The focus is on clinic preparation and training teachers to be better mentors and coaches.
There Are Many More Female STEM Teachers Now Than 20 Years Ago
Ed Week
The percentage of female STEM teachers increased from 43 percent in 1988 to 64 percent in 2012.
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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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