Mission: To develop and retain great teachers and measurably increase their ability to give students in urban public schools an excellent education.
About the Organization: Founded in 1994 in New York City, Teaching Matters, Inc. is dedicated to increasing teacher effectiveness, one of the most important factors in student success. To that end, the organization helps effective teachers develop the skills they need to lead their peers and drive school-wide improvement by pairing high-quality curricula with coaching and teamwork. Since its founding, the organization has partnered with more than half of the city’s public schools and currently serves more than two hundred schools a year, with a focus on those in underserved areas. Its programs in high-poverty schools have been shown to improve teacher retention and generate statistically significant and meaningful gains in writing performance and critical thinking skills.
Current Programs: The organization's programs are aimed at building the capacity of a core group of effective "teacher leaders" who can help strengthen the instructional practice of their colleagues. Its flagship program, Teacher Leadership Matters, builds teams of the most effective teachers, who — through workshops, training modules, and job-embedded coaching — learn to establish school-wide systems designed to improve collaboration, teaching, and learning in the school. The Emerging Teacher Leaders program helps teachers become effective teacher leaders, with a focus on developing core teacher competencies.
The organization also offers programs focused on assessment as well as subject-specific teaching strategies, assessments, and curricula — including lesson plans and interactive media — for writing, literacy, early reading, and math.
In addition, the annual Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize for Schools Where Teaching Matters recognizes a public school that has advanced opportunities for students "by positioning teachers to lead, learn, and thrive" with a cash prize of $25,000.
Website: Visitors to the Teaching Matters website can watch a video about inequality as it relates to educational quality, learn about the organization’s various programs, or view data about its impact on teacher effectiveness and retention and student achievement. They also can watch videos featuring Rohatyn Prize winners and finalists and/or make a donation in support of the organization.
Funding: Teaching Matters is funded by a public-private partnership that includes an investment of about $1.5 million a year from foundations and individuals.