Category: Press Release

Teaching Matters, Council of Supervisors and Administrators of NYC Partner to Reward Micro-credentials in Culturally Responsive Education

by Editorial Team

Press Release NEW YORK, April 24, 2018 – Teaching Matters and the Executive Leadership Institute of The Council of Supervisors and Administrators (CSA) of NYC created the first-ever competency-based micro-credential to recognize growth in culturally responsive education.

Teaching Matters Collaborates with Tennessee Department of Education to Recognize Teacher Leadership through Micro-Credentials

Press Release Teaching Matters will work with 100 Tennessee teacher leaders to earn four high-leverage micro-credentials over the course of the 2017-18 school year. The organization’s unique competency-based micro-credentialing system, developed in the nation’s largest school system, emphasizes the demonstration of skills in classrooms coupled with continued support for sustainable system-level improvement.

Teaching Matters Awards $25,000 Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize to Academy of Applied Technology and Mathematics

by Editorial Team

Press Release: NEW YORK, NY, July 19, 2017 – NEW YORK, NY, July 19, 2017 – Teaching Matters, a leader in the national movement to support teacher leadership, today awarded its seventh annual Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize for Schools Where Teaching Matters to the Academy of Applied Technology and Mathematics (MS 343) from District 7. Educators at the Bronx middle school introduced an initiative titled “Looking at Student Work” that empowers teachers to isolate students’ mistakes and misconceptions, shift instructional strategies and provide highly personalized intervention.

Teaching Matters gets more than $2.2 million for early reading program

New York, NY – November 10, 2016: Teaching Matters is expanding its Early Reading Matters program to 25 high-needs Bronx schools over two years thanks to a $2,287,000 award by the New York Community Trust Brooke Astor Fund for New York City Education. Building on the program’s success in eight schools last year, seven schools will be added, almost doubling the number receiving the program.

Teaching Matters will receive half million to improve teaching effectiveness, Common Core instruction

Teaching Matters’ Teacher Leadership Program will expand with the support of a new $500,000 grant from the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at WestEd as part of the Teacher Practice Networks Initiative.The two-year program, “Deepening and Scaling Teacher Leader Support for Common Core-Aligned Instruction in New York City,” launches October 1st.

It aims to enhance teaching skills by equipping designated teacher leaders to deepen and spread Common Core aligned instructional practices.  A hallmark of the program will be a competency-based focus that shapes, measures, and rewards discrete teacher leadership skills with micro-credentials.

New Teaching Matters report, case studies show promise of competency-based micro-credentials for educators and schools systems

Fri, 14 Oct 2016:

October 19, 2016

Contacts: Mary Strain,, cell

New Teaching Matters report, case studies show promise of competency-based micro-credentials for educators and schools systems

New York, NY – October 14, 2016

A new report from Teaching Matters details the promise of competency-based professional development, coupled with ‘micro-credentials,” by examining three recent experiences with this growing way to meet school systems’ needs. It also shows ways to spur greater expansion of this important approach.

Two years ago, while some professional development was being assailed as ineffective or superficial, Teaching Matters made an investment in teacher leadership and competency-based education. Micro-credentialing, or awarding “digital badges”, became the strategy to incentivize and recognize competency attainment.  This structure was paired with supports that included job-embedded coaching and feedback designed to develop teachers for leadership roles. 

“We’ve changed our practices to support teachers and teacher leaders differently,” said Lynette Guastaferro, Teaching Matters’ Executive Director. “Competency-based professional development is all about engaging learners and having them demonstrate their knowledge – it’s not passive, and it’s not about seat time. It’s about outcomes, not inputs.”

The new report – Competency-based Learning and Micro-Credentials: Powerful Lessons from Two Years in the Field – reflects upon three major Teaching Matters implementations.   

Teaching Matters initiatives were with the New York CIty school system (NYC DOE), the largest in the country, and a suburban district.  Preliminary findings show micro-credentials and competency-based professional learning are valuable for both educators and systems. Evidence of teachercompetency is important for systems seeking to create career ladders and strategically staff schools.  Micro-credentials allow teachers to select the particular competencies they wish to develop in a way that fits their own needs. Said New York City teacher Vicky Dedaj, “(This process) really empowers the teacher to drive the learning.”

Teaching Matters found there were important ways to promote micro-credentials. 

Teachers need sufficient time to complete a rigorous micro-credentialing process, and they are most willing to invest in micro-credentials when there are inducements in the form of pay or newly available roles. 

One of the implementations examined in the report, the Emerging Teacher Leaders Programshowsthe benefits of clear incentives, or “currency.”  Developed in collaboration with the NYC DOE the project provided an alternative pathway to teacher leader roles.  Candidates had to demonstrate competencies related to the role before being accepted into the pool. Sixty percent of all who began the project successfully completed the program, and 95% of those who completed the program were accepted into the teacher leader pool and given the opportunity for additional salary.  

Dr. Michael Nagler, superintendent of the Mineola Public Schools in suburban New York, finds the customizable and very specific knowledge that is imparted and assessed an attractive element: “Teachers need to be constantly updating their pedagogical practices and skills. Often this is smaller snippets of learning – not a whole course.  Micro-credentials really focus on the right “bite size” of skills that people need.  They are very efficient.”

There is another benefit to this new way of proceeding, said Guastaferro. “Micro-credentialing provides the teacher more agency because it makes the expectations very transparent. It puts the onus on the teacher to apply what he or she has learned, and demonstrate impact.This results in deeper, context-based learning and the greater likelihood the practice will stick.”

Anne Williams, Director of NYC DOE’s office of Teacher Recruitment and Quality, observed: “We did see strong potential for this  as an alternative process – one that requires evidence that educators have demonstrated competencies in critical skills and as an important strategy for supporting qualified candidates into new roles and re-qualification for existing roles.” During the 2016-17 school year, the Emerging Teacher Leaders Program that Teaching Matters conducts with the NYC DOE will grow from 191 to 300 participants.

The full report about Teaching Matters’ competency-based professional development and micro-credentialing can be downloaded here

Teaching Matters will be releasing the report at The Council of Great City Schools in Miami, where we will be discussing its findings on October 20th.


Teaching Matters is dedicated to increasing teacher effectiveness, one of the most critical factors in student success. TeachingMatters’ services transform how educators work together at urban public schools, helping the most effective teachers develop the skills they need to lead their peers and drive school-wide improvement. They also partner with school leadership to create a work environment that equips teachers to succeed in the classroom.


National, state officials at Teaching Matters’ 8th annual Champions for Education event

Wed, 05 Oct 2016:

For immediate release

Contact: Lynette Guastaferro, 212-870-3505 ext. 5

National and state officials at Teaching Matters’ eighth annual Champions for Education luncheon urge elevating and modernizing the teaching profession

New York, NY – October 5, 2016

U.S. Department of Education official Ruthanne Buck believes that society has to “dramatically redefine opportunities for educators – particularly teachers.” She spoke today before a group of about 200 at Teaching Matters’ 8th Annual Champions of Education Luncheon, “Great Teachers, Bright Futures: Launching Tomorrow’s Leaders.”

Buck was joined by New York State Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa, teacher leader Torrey Maldonado, and Lynette Guastaferro, Teaching Matters’ Executive Director. CNN’s Kelly Wallace moderated the panel.

Teaching Matters board Chair Olga Votis opened the event with an explanation of the pressing need to supply excellent teachers to U.S. public schools – and the steep road. “Too often we are fielding inadequately prepared and supported teachers,” she said. That’s in the context of an escalating shortage, with teacher preparation programs having seen a drop of about 30% in enrollments over the last eight years, and teacher-student ratios leaving many fewer adults to children. Since 2008, there are about 1 million more students, but about 200,000 fewer teachers.  

Teaching Matters is steeped in these issues. Working in schools with nearly 90% student poverty, exceeding New York City’s 80% rate, Teaching Matters schools have nevertheless been able to exceed proficiency gains for the system as a whole. Four schools were singled out as “bright lights” during the event, with gains that reached as high as 15% in English Language Arts.

The luncheon’s panelists focused on the particular challenges of recruiting and retaining teachers when they typically face flat career paths, are paid substantially less than their counterparts in other fields with similar levels of education, and when the demand for teachers is growing.

“We need to think about how to attract millenials,” said Guastaferro. Low status, low pay, few advancement opportunities, and difficult working conditions often deter them from entering or staying in teaching, she said.

Chancellor Betty A. Rosa praised the recent trend toward teacher leadership that allows teachers to maintain their classroom roles while expanding their opportunities, influence, and pay: “I’m proud of changes being made every day as a result of teachers owning changes.”

Torrey Moldanado offered a teacher leader’s perspective. A veteran sixth-grade teacher with more than sixteen years in the profession, he was counseled against going into teaching by some. But, he said, others told him “We need someone like you.”

Teaching Matters gave this year’s Champion of Education award to Buck, who is Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education John King. Buck spearheaded the nationalTeach to Lead initiative which works toward expanding teacher roles and opportunities for leadership.

Teaching Matters is part of the Teach to Lead movement, and last year partnered with the New York City Department of Education and a host of supporters to launch the first ever New York Teacher Leadership Summit. Teaching Matters is also a member of the nationalTeachStrong campaign. TeachStrong’s members have agreed to a set of nine principles that are all aimed at redressing the stature and working conditions of teachers across the country.


Teaching Matters is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing teacher effectiveness, one of the most critical factors in student success. Our services transform how educators work together at urban public schools, helping the most effective teachers develop the skills they need to lead their peers and drive school-wide improvement. We also partner with school leadership to create a work environment that equips teachers to succeed in the classroom. Visit to learn more about how we’re making a difference for students and teachers at public schools.