African-American teacher in elementary school classroom.
What is TeachNY?

What is TeachNY

In spring 2014, SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and her team finalized a proposal for a NYSED grant funded through Race to the Top to develop bold policy that would transform teacher and school‐leader preparation in New York commensurate with our state’s and society’s needs. A proposed multi-stage process would begin by engaging state and national education leaders as well as researchers in identifying challenges and best practices for educator preparation, around which a TeachNY Advisory Council, convened by SUNY, would develop recommendations for SUNY and New York.

The project was funded and launched in summer 2014. A Core Working Group worked closely with the chancellor to lay out the project’s scope and timeline. As proposed,  TeachNY would be carried out in three phases, the first to culminate in the Advisory Council’s findings and recommendations. The second phase would be marked by full engagement of SUNY—campus and system leadership, governance, faculty, students—and its partners in translating the recommendations into proposed policy for action by the SUNY Board of Trustees. The third phase would be implementation (with targeted, strategic investment) and evaluation.

Immediately following the initial planning, Chancellor Zimpher assembled the TeachNY Advisory Council, a distinguished panel of state and national thought leaders in the area of teacher and leader preparation. Beyond attracting the best and brightest from across the state and nation, the assembled group would represent a range of perspectives that would challenge each other rather than speak in a singular voice. The goal was critical conversation, out of which would emerge general consensus rather than unanimity, about the specific recommendations that would be offered. Council members were carefully selected to represent public and private higher education, P–12 teachers and administrators, school boards, labor, faculty, presidents, provosts, and students. Council members were recruited with the promise that SUNY was inviting them to help develop recommendations on how policy could directly support core priorities focused on achieving sustained improvement in the education of teachers and leaders, along with parallel school renewal. The recurring charge to the Council from the very start and throughout its work was to join SUNY in thinking boldly about transformative policy, focusing on the classrooms and students of tomorrow.

The TeachNY Advisory Council calls on SUNY, NYSED, and New York State to work together to take immediate action to rectify the persistent lack of accurate and timely data to support continuous improvement and excellence across P–20. Leveraging the state’s and SUNY’s vast infrastructure will be necessary to initiate and sustain transformation efforts. SUNY has the opportunity to impact education for all students in New York by focusing its considerable resources on continuous improvement and excellence in educator preparation.

While attracting and retaining excellent teachers and leaders is a challenge for all New York State, indeed, the entire nation, SUNY is uniquely positioned to address the challenge at an unmatchable scale... SUNY has the capacity to reach into communities to expand the relationships and further develop the partnerships that are necessary for change.

And beyond SUNY and its leadership are the partnership and commitment of New York State’s leadership and citizenry... no other state can match New York’s commitment to excellence in education.

Now is the time to leverage New York’s legacy, its record of innovation, its unmatched investment, and to reconsider the infrastructure needed to ensure excellence in teacher
and leader preparation and development.