The Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize for Schools Where Teaching Matters

$25,000 for public schools advancing educational equity

The Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize for Schools Where Teaching Matters (Rohatyn Prize) is an annual $25,000 award given to a public school within a 100-mile radius of New York City that demonstrates excellence in advancing educational equity. The recognized initiative will provide evidence of how students are learning and thriving regardless of who they are or where they live.

Award-winning schools are those that commit to ensuring equity by providing a culturally responsive and sustaining education, and through which educators create environments that affirm racial, linguistic and cultural identities. Doing so prepares students for rigorous independent learning while elevating their voices as agents of social change.

All students (particularly those who are historically marginalized and underserved) should acquire relevant and meaningful knowledge, skills and the ability to think and learn so that they can be successful in school and beyond.

Applications will open Fall 2019

2017-18 Winner: PS 449

Grant Avenue Elementary School (PS 449)
Principal Kristin Erat (NYC)

Grant Avenue Elementary School teachers collaboratively planned for lessons using the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics, visited one another’s classrooms to study the work in progress and then debriefed. In the second year of this new program, teachers were able to spread new practices to their colleagues, resulting in more educators within the building teaching math for conceptual understanding.

2017 - Vincent Gassetto, MS 343

2015 - Regina Tottenham, K373

2013 - Salvador Fernandez M052

2011 - Jeanne Rotunda, M250

2016 - Katherine Witzke, PS009

2014 - Jodie Cohen, K425


2012 - Rose Kerr, R861

Q. How were the summit locations chosen?

The locations were chosen based on multiple criteria including the prevalence of promising teacher leadership efforts in the area, broad support among area stakeholders for teacher leadership and ease of travel for other potential participants.

Q. Who is eligible to attend a summit? How does a teacher attend?

Teachers have the opportunity to submit their ideas via the Commit to Lead platform to be considered for recommendation to attend summits. Additionally, The U.S. Department of Education, ASCD, and the National Board will work closely with supporter organizations to send out invitations to attend regional teacher leadership summits in a variety of ways.

Q. How are participants selected?

Participants are selected by a panel of educators based on the teacher leadership ideas they have submitted via the Commit to Lead community. Although the crowdsourcing platform enables popular ideas to “rise to the top,” ideas are scored based on their merits, not on votes or comments received.

Q. Who will pay for expenses to attend the summit?

There will be no charge for the summit, but participants will be responsible for their travel expenses. We will work with participants to connect them with resources if they are unable to find funding for their attendance.

Q. What is the U.S. Department of Education’s role in these summits?

The U.S. Department of Education, ASCD and the National Board will provide a structure that will allow participants to develop their skills in program development and problem solving while also providing significant networking and exposure to potential resources. We are currently working with cities and states to identify facilities. We are also in the process of identifying supporter and other organizations to help fill any summit needs.

Q. Will there be more summits announced after these? If so, how can my state/district/organization be considered in the mix?

Based upon interest and available resources, there could be additional summits.

Who Should Apply?

Applications will open Fall 2019

All public schools within a 100-mile radius of New York City are eligible to receive the Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize for Schools Where Teaching Matters. Teaching Matters seeks to identify and award schools that have created and want additional support in enhancing equity-centric initiatives such as:

  • Design of healthy and inclusive learning environments
  • Implementation of instructional strategies that adapt to diverse learning styles
  • Creation of an inclusive curriculum and assessment
  • Execution of project-based learning on social justice issues
  • Establishment of diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development for teachers and staff
  • Alignment of curriculum with histories, language, and experiences of traditionally marginalized voices that build team capacity to personally reflect on equity and diversity and demonstrate transformative experiences around race and equity
  • Engagement in data-driven cycles of improvement specifically tailored to goals in increasing academic outcomes and a sense of belonging for all students