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A New Movement To Help Ensure We Have the High Quality Educators Needed for the Future

NYS Department of Education commissioner MaryEllen Elia speaks at the TeachNY launch at SUNY Plaza.

New York State Department of Education commissioner MaryEllen Elia speaks at the TeachNY launch at SUNY Plaza.

Teachers make such a difference to all aspects of our lives, in the classroom and our communities. From the time our children are first learning to socialize and think for themselves on to the time they enter the workforce, teachers are guiding sources for their social and mental development. We all have that teacher who made a difference in our lives to show us a new way to success. Maybe it was a third grade teacher who taught you how to handle math problems, or a high school teacher who showed you the magic of science with a lab experiment. Whoever it was, we know that teachers helped build the path to our future success.

Now, moving forward in the 21st century is bringing changes and new needs to our education pipeline. Knowing that, a panel of education experts have been working together to create TeachNY, a new way to transform teacher preparation.

What is TeachNY? It is not simply a document report or set of recommendations. It’s a movement. It’s a movement to lift up the teaching profession and to ensure that New York and the nation will have the high quality educators needed for the future.

Chancellor Zimpher speaks during the TeachNY event at SUNY Plaza.

Chancellor Zimpher speaks to attendees during the TeachNY event at SUNY Plaza.

As far as school and student success is concerned, regardless of the school, location, or population, one thing remains a constant – Teachers are the number one in‐school factor for student success. So we know that we need to continue to produce excellent teachers and produce more of them. 

Chancellor Zimpher helped put things in perspective during today’s event. “The good news is New York has some of the most highly qualified teachers in the country. The bad news – we don’t have anywhere near enough of them. New York is facing a significant – and growing – shortage of teachers. We will need an average of 1,700 new teachers every year. And we’re not alone. Across the country, there will be a call for 1.6 million new teachers over the next decade.”

The advisory council group has now released a comprehensive report which contains a series of recommendations crafted from a year of deeply researched, collaborative, cross‐sector work that is meant to help develop policy that aims to reinvent, reinvigorate, and bring up‐to‐date educator preparation for all of New York State. This report is not the endpoint of TeachNY, but rather the culmination of phase I and a launch for phase II.

Inspired by the work of the TeachNY Advisory Council, Chancellor Zimpher and New York State Department of Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia will begin a statewide TeachNY Campaign to:

  • Promote the power of teaching
  • Cement a clinical practice profession
  • Secure investment in innovative educator preparation
  • Improve transparency about educator supply and demand
  • Support the entire educator preparation pipeline

The need for more strong, engaging teachers is present today and will continue to grow in the coming years. Recognizing this dilemma is the first step in meeting this challenge, and the TeachNY initiative will go right to the source to help New York and the entire nation’s teachers adapt to future trends like advances in technology and the changes in our economy to more service and information centered industries.

Owning the K-12 Challenge

Chancellor Zimpher recently sat down with The Chronicle of Higher Education where she previewed the TeachNY report and spoke about the necessary challenges that SUNY and the NYS Department of Education will work to overcome in order to address New York’s teacher shortage. View the interview below.

Taras Kufel

Written by Taras Kufel

Taras Kufel is the Manager of Digital Engagement at the State University of New York.

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