Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the NYS Master Teacher Program, a new statewide initiative proposed in the 2013 State of the State Address, that will reward the state's highest performing teachers, ensure the best and brightest to stay in education, and encourage the state's best teachers to share their expertise with peers.
Under the NYS Master Teacher program, high-performing secondary science and mathematics (STEM) teachers who make a commitment to mentor other teachers will receive $15,000 annually over four years. An initial group of 250 teachers will be selected from Mid-Hudson, North Country, Central New York and Western New York in Fall 2013; the program will launch in the remaining 6 regions in Spring 2014.
"We want the best possible teachers in every New York classroom educating our children," Governor Cuomo said. "As part of the state's work to transform our education system and put students first, we are committed to investing in great teachers to educate our students and create a highly-trained workforce to drive our future economy. This program will reward those teachers who work harder to make the difference and whose students perform better as a result."
SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said, "Incentivizing our best teachers in the STEM fields to stay and teach in New York and lend their expertise to others will build a strong foundation of student success and ensure that our education system remains globally competitive. The New York State Master Teacher program is yet another example of the Governor taking bold action to improve New York schools and benefit students for years to come."
Math for America President John Ewing said, "This program focuses on our strengths -- the outstanding teachers already in the classroom. Bringing them together into a professional community is very powerful. They are leaders, but they are also models for future teachers. We need to make teaching attractive if we hope to recruit and retain the best teachers."
The NYS Master Teacher Program was formed with a partnership between the State University of New York and Jim Simons' Math for America Program. Recruiting and retaining quality educators in mathematics and science was among the recommendations made by the New NY Education Reform Commission in its Preliminary Action Plan presented to the Governor in January. The SUNY campuses hosting the first four groups of master teachers include SUNY Plattsburgh, Buffalo State, SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Cortland.
The NYS Master Teacher Program will be managed by SUNY with technical assistance provided throughout the first phase of implementation by Math for America, a successful program currently operating in New York City and other major cities. The Master Teacher program will be based at and hosted by higher education institutions in each of the 10 regional economic development regions.
Selected master teachers will engage in peer mentoring, attend and create intensive content-oriented development opportunities throughout the academic year. Master teachers will also work closely with pre-service and early career fellows to develop future world-class educators.
Eligible teachers must be ranked "highly effective," have a minimum of 4 years teaching experience, hold a NYS teaching certification and have their primary teaching responsibilities be in the areas of math and science in grades six through twelve.
Applications will be available on July 1st and due by August 1st. The first round of Master Teachers will be announced on September 1st.