DeLauro, Courtney Introduce Bill to Create Teachers Institutes Nationwide
For Immediate Release
Monday, July 30, 2007
Washington, DC -- Representatives Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-3) and Joe Courtney (CT-2) introduced the Teacher Professional Development Institutes Act, which would create a partnership between institutions of higher education and local low-income school districts to enhance teacher skills and student achievement.
Modeled after the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute – a successful collaboration begun in 1978 between the New Haven Public School System and Yale University to strengthen teacher understanding of subject matter, which ultimately increases student achievement – the Teacher Professional Development Institutes Act would expand the Yale National Initiative to States across the country. Currently eleven cities in ten states participate in the Initiative to strengthen teaching in public schools; this includes Houston, TX; Pittsburgh, PA; Philadelphia, PA; Charlotte, NC; Santa Fe, NM; New Castle County, DE; Atlanta, GA; Richmond, VA; Chicago, IL; and San Francisco, CA.
The Institutes would hold annual professional seminars in the humanities and sciences and work with program participants to bring the curriculum and lessons of the seminars to the classroom. Every Teachers Institute would consist of a partnership between an institution of higher education and the local public school system in which a significant proportion of the students come from low-income households. For example, the Yale-New Haven program has offered several thirteen-session seminars each year, led by Yale faculty, on topics that teachers have selected to enhance their mastery of the specific subject area they teach.
Evaluations of the Institutes reveal that teachers who participated leave feeling substantially strengthened in their mastery of content knowledge and increased expectations for what students could achieve, which increases student achievement. Additionally, these Institutes have served to foster teacher leadership, to develop supportive teacher networks, to heighten university faculty commitments to improving K-12 public education, and to foster more positive partnerships between school districts and institutions of higher education.