Our response: A great teacher, every time
The traditional means by which districts select teachers - college selectivity, performance in academic coursework, success in an interview or a model lesson - have done little more than enter them into the teacher quality lottery. Sometimes districts get lucky and hire teachers who perform well with students. Too often, though, districts receive candidates who seemed promising on paper but are ineffective in the classroom.
Urban Teacher Center (UTC) aims to end this unpredictable teacher lottery, and to ensure that every teacher who completes our program is an effective teacher. Here’s how we accomplish this:
- Terrific candidates: We aggressively recruit exceptional candidates from across the nation, and carefully select individuals with high academic capacity.
- A four-year commitment: We develop candidates who want to make a sustained and lasting commitment to the teaching profession.
- Meticulous preparation: Our four-year program begins with a residency year in which participants partner with a successful current teacher. Simultaneously, participants enroll in an innovative and clinically-based master’s degree program designed exclusively for UTC.
- Unprecedented accountability: To progress across the four years of the program, our residents and teachers must demonstrate their ability to improve student performance. No UTC teacher will complete our program (and subsequently be granted a state license) without improving student performance a minimum average of one year across two years of instruction. And this is our performance floor: in order to become a lead teacher, our teachers must make minimum student performance gains of 18 months for each year of instruction.