How 60 Kids, 3 Teachers, and 1 Innovative Principal are Improving Teacher Effectiveness

2012 WinnerTeaching Matters is pleased to announce that Rose Kerr, principal of the Staten Island School of Civic Leadership (R861) is the recipient of the second annual Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize for Schools Where Teaching Matters. The $15,000 prize was presented to Ms. Kerr at the Fifth Annual Teaching Matters’ Forum for Principals based on the school’s innovative “Triad Model.”

The Triad Model is a teacher effectiveness initiative that puts three teachers in charge of comprehensive instruction for two classrooms.  This allows the team of teachers to own responsibility for everything from analyzing student performance data and developing interventions, to scheduling.  The initiative elevates teacher teaming  to a whole new level.  During her acceptance speech, principal Kerr explained the powerful effects of the Triad Model.  She emphasized that it didn’t necessitate additional funding to implement but simply required reorganizing existing resources. “Ask any child in our building who their teacher is and it becomes plainly obvious they have not one, but three teachers accountable for their continued success,” said Ms. Kerr.   

The goal of the Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize for Schools Where Teaching Matters is to recognize leaders that create schools designed to promote teacher effectiveness. “Of course every teacher should  be a highly qualified professional, but we need to get beyond the idea of the hero teacher,” says Lynette Guastaferro, Executive Director of Teaching Matters. “Effective school leaders run schools that look like modern organizations where culture, incentives and technology can enable groups of teachers to perform beyond the sum of their individual abilities.” The prize may be used to support expansion and replication of the innovation.

Ms. Kerr was one of five finalists selected by an independent panel of judges comprised of education leaders and a student representative. The other finalists included principal Evelyn Finn of the Lavelle Preparatory Charter School in Staten Island, NY, principal Cynthia Fowlkes of the Academy of Innovative Technology High School in Brooklyn, NY,  principal Christopher Lehmann of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, PA, and principal Shimon Waronker of the New American Academy in Brooklyn, NY.

Elizabeth Rohatyn is a champion of education and innovation. Driven by the belief that teachers are the most important school-related factor in raising student achievement, Mrs. Rohatyn joined forces with former teachers, principals and technology experts and founded Teaching Matters in 1994. Funding for the Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize for Schools Where Teaching Matters is made available by contributors to the Elizabeth Rohatyn Fund. The Rohatyn Prize trophy is a perpetual award that is passed on to the new recipient each year.

Support for the Teaching Matters’ Forum for School Principals is provided by New York Community Trust. The Prize was awarded at the fifth annual event in the series which featured an interactive presentation by Superintendent Paul G. Vallas, entitled “The Five Essential Practices for High Performing Schools.