On Tuesday, February 26, national and local education leaders took the first step towards creating a pipeline to educate, train and prepare future teachers, and diversify the teacher workforce with the launch of Newark Public Schools Teacher Education Academy. The launch of the Academy was led by Newark Board of Education (NBOE) and Superintendent Roger León, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, President of Montclair State University (MSU) Dr. Susan A. Cole and President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Randi Weingarten. John Abeigon, President of the Newark Teachers Union, legislators, educators and students also participated in what will be New Jersey’s largest school district’s first teacher academy.
Superintendent León said, “When I became Superintendent, I made a commitment to transform educational opportunities for our students and to identify partners who shared our passion to expand our community of student scholars. Today represents the beginning of a new chapter for our schools, as we launch this, the first in a series of high school academies that will connect Newark Public School students to promising futures, starting with the Newark Teaching Academy. Together we are preparing our students to be the best teachers in Newark, in New Jersey and anywhere in America.” He added, “Thank you to President Cole of Montclair State University, President Weingarten from the American Federation of Teachers, Mayor Baraka and everyone here for being our partner to transform Newark Public High Schools and create pipelines of progress.”
The Teacher Education Academy will be located at Newark’s East Side High School. The launch begins the planning phase for The Teacher Academy, which is expected to open in 2020.
Additional high school academies will be announced over the coming months.
“As a 22-year educator in the Newark Public Schools system, I know how critical it is to teach, mentor, and inspire effectively in the classroom. Teachers do more than merely correct tests and read students’ essays,” Mayor Baraka said. “By their every word in the classroom, they create future generations of scientists, entrepreneurs, doctors, engineers, and leaders that will create the strong Newark we want to see. So we must place future teachers in our classrooms who are prepared for this immense challenge and can educate and inspire our children through example. I welcome the Teacher Preparatory Academy to Newark and urge any student who has felt the call to commit to this great profession to attend the Academy.”
Montclair State University will help design a curriculum to prepare students for a career in teaching. In addition, the university will provide adjunct professors to teach students, and internships for students will be available, as well. The Teacher Preparatory Academy will be housed at East Side High School, Newark’s largest high school with more than 2,000 students. Partner high schools to East Side H.S are Newark’s University High Schools Media Studies Academy and Arts High Schools Arts Academy. Both academies will be housed at East Side High School. Graduates of The Teacher Academy will receive a substitute certificate and college credits upon completion.
“Montclair State University has been deeply engaged in working with the Newark Public Schools for many decades, in a number of school and curricular reform efforts, bringing millions of dollars in federal grants to support the preparation of the highest quality teachers for Newark schools, and in the education of committed and talented school leaders, including among them Superintendent Roger Leon. This new collaboration, a Teacher Academy in East Side High School and University High School, will take another important step forward, providing Newark with an academically rigorous and innovative pathway to grow their own future teachers,” said Dr. Susan A. Cole, President of Montclair State University.
The Teacher Education Academy will prepare Newark Public School students for careers in education and create a pipeline of diversity in education to reflect the state of New Jersey and the nation. The Academy will also create an environment that makes a teaching career in education a destination for high school and college bound students.
“Today, we take an important step in Newark with the broader education community in New Jersey to grow the educator workforce and diversify the pipeline of people entering the profession through a new grow-our-own program. We are excited to collaborate on this program, which addresses the critical challenge of diversifying the teacher workforce in our classrooms and providing educators with the tools they need to stay in the profession and to succeed. The teaching academy at East Side High School can be the center of a virtuous cycle that prepares Newark’s youth to excel in a high-quality teacher preparation program and return to their community to teach—equipped with the skills and the will to make every public school worthy of the next generation of students. This partnership is what real collaboration looks like: all parties on board reflecting the leadership and diversity of the community, and all committed to moving a powerful vision and a plan that puts schools at the heart of their communities,” American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.
“On behalf of the members of the Board of Education, thank you to Montclair State University, the American Federation of Teachers, and Mayor Baraka for their commitment to our students and our district,” said Josephine C. Garcia, Board Chairperson. “We look forward to launching this and the other High School Academies.