CUNY Vice-Chancellor Botman Tackles the Future of Math & Science Ed at CEI-PEA
President of The Center for Educational Innovation-Public Education Association (CEI-PEA), Seymour Fliegel’s, notation of research from Arizona regarding the strong correlation between student achievement and the grades of teachers as undergraduates sparked the recent creation of the City University of New York (CUNY) Teachers Academy.
Dr. Selma Botman, Vice Chancellor of the City University New York (CUNY), recently addressed a group of educators, college presidents, and deans, hosted by President Fliegel at the Harvard Club, describing the program at Teacher’s Academy as one that “re-imagines how to educate teachers in middle and high schools.” Botman highlighted the power of education from her personal background recalling “teachers who instilled the possibility of dreaming of making something of ourselves,” and the growing need today for skilled math and science teachers to address a crisis of poor performance of high school students in comparison to other countries. Concomitantly, she noted a drop in the number of students majoring in math and science, a crisis underscored by US Department of Education senior research analyst Dr. Clifford Adelman’s book, The Toolbox Revisited: Paths to Degree Completion from High School Through College, demonstrating performance in math in high school as predictive of achievement in college.
CUNY Teachers Academy, a product of the collaboration between three institutions, CUNY, New York University (NYU), and the Department of Education (DOE) as part of the NYC Partnership for Teacher Excellence, (supported by a grant from The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation) is designed to meet the growing demand for effective math, science, special education, and English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers and has recruited exceptional math and science students, with diverse backgrounds, who can major in biology, chemistry, earth science, and math.
The Teacher Academy program will be housed on the CUNY campuses of Brooklyn College, City College, College of Staten Island, Hunter College, Lehman College, Queens College, and in the Fall of 2007, York College. Enrollment in Teachers Academy includes full tuition reimbursement and paid internships at host schools chosen based on successful leadership, and located within the vicinity of CUNY campuses. The collaboration with the DOE allows students to become familiarized with the public school system from year one, with 1000 hours of total internship at host schools by the end of the four-year program.
State of the art features of the program include the use of University of California at Santa Cruz’s Professional Teaching standards and the Continuum of Teacher Education and Development. Upon graduation Teacher Academy students will have completed coursework for initial NYS certification.
Theory, research and practice will go hand in hand as students are embraced by professors across CUNY campus departments, and by teachers and principals of host schools. The symbiotic relationship between DOE and CUNY where staff learn from the innovative research of professors and the latter learn about pedagogy from DOE staff, will be invaluable in preparing Teacher Academy students for success in schools. “It’s a partnership which has the power to shape teacher education at CUNY and beyond,” stated Botman.
Following completion of their first year at Teachers Academy students must commit at least two years to teaching in middle or high school upon graduation, where they will receive support from teachers in host schools. CUNY in 2005-06 school year awarded 4,500 degree and certificates in teaching, but wants to increase the retention rate, where teachers stay on as educators, eventually becoming administrators or superintendents. The collaborative efforts of the Teacher Academy program holds out much promise of attaining this goal.#