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New Teacher Center awarded $7.8M federal Supporting Effective Educators Development (SEED) grant

Grant will serve more than 92,000 students in Austin Independent School District (TX) and Volusia County Public Schools (FL)

SANTA CRUZ, CA (October 5, 2015) – Today, the U.S. Department of Education awarded New Teacher Center a $7.8 million federal Supporting Effective Educators Development (SEED) grant to increase the number of highly effective teachers in Austin Independent School District (TX) and Volusia County Public Schools (FL). The award will allow New Teacher Center to validate its innovative, research-based instructional coaching model modeled after its established new teacher induction and mentoring model. The project will serve 92,225 K–8 students and 2,737 K–8 teachers in high-poverty schools, with a primary focus on teachers of math, science and English language arts.

This award is recognition that teachers and their students benefit most when they receive professional development that is accompanied by ongoing, systematic support specific to the developmental needs of the individual teacher.

“We want to dramatically change how districts help teachers grow from good to great to excellent,” says New Teacher Center Founder and CEO Ellen Moir. “Rather than ineffective quick hit workshops that happen across the country, we are partnering with Austin and Volusia to give teachers practice-changing, job-embedded and personalized opportunities to grow with the ongoing help of accomplished, carefully selected and well-prepared instructional coaches.”

While more than 90% of teachers participate in professional development, few report that it is useful, according to a report from Learning Forward. There is no evidence to suggest that isolated, one-size-fits-all workshops change teacher practice or affect student achievement, according to research published by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences.

New Teacher Center’s instructional coaching model, however, is focused on increasing all teachers’ ability to help students meet higher, more rigorous standards, leading to teachers who are more effective and to improved student achievement. It is based on the organization’s proven teacher induction model – a program of weekly on-the-job mentoring for new teachers from an accomplished, well-prepared peer – that focuses on developing immediately effective new teachers, increasing overall teacher retention, improving student achievement and reducing district teacher recruiting costs.

This is the second federal SEED grant New Teacher Center has received. The first was a $13.9 million grantawarded in March 2012 to support novice teachers and principals in the Hillsborough County Public Schools (FL), and to administer New Teacher Center’s nationally recognized teaching conditions survey to all school-based licensed educators in the district, providing district leaders with data and tools to help them enhance school improvement efforts. Early evaluation results of this work show that students of New Teacher Center-supported new teachers are performing at the same level as students of veteran teachers.

The current award also includes funding for an independent third-party evaluation of NTC’s work, conducted by SRI International, in each district.


About New Teacher Center (NTC)
New Teacher Center focuses on improving student learning by accelerating the effectiveness of new teachers and school leaders. NTC partners with states, school districts, and policymakers to design and implement programs that create sustainable, high-quality mentoring and professional development; build leadership capacity; work to enhance teaching conditions; improve retention; and transform schools into vibrant learning communities where all students succeed.

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Yael Bailey