Teaching Matters Celebrates 20 Years, and Honors Our Founder

Teaching Matters put on its party shoes and celebrated its 20th anniversary last night with friends and supporters. We honored founder and Chairman Emerita, Elizabeth Rohatyn, a champion of public education and the woman who made it all possible. Tweed Courthouse, headquarters of New York City’s Department of Education, was the lovely site for the festivities.

Chancellor Carmen Fariña paid tribute to Teaching Matters’ long-standing role in supporting teachers throughout New York City, and her personal experience when a superintendent with Teaching Matters’ exceptional quality support. “We know our partnership will continue.”

Chairman of the Board Olga Votis kicked off the evening with a warm welcome to all and a special tribute to Mrs. Rohatyn, whose daughter Nina Griscom spoke on behalf of her mother. Lynette Guastaferro, our Executive Director, gave heartfelt thanks to Mrs. Rohatyn for her personal mentorship, and visionary leadership.

Lynette continued with a reflection about her own years teaching in Baltimore, and both the daunting and gratifying responsibility for students’ education.

She laid out some numbers, too. In our work to increase teacher effectiveness and help close the achievement gap, we’ve touched the lives of over 500,000 school children. We’ve directly coached over 30,000 teachers. And, we’ve partnered with more than 900 schools.

In our most recent program evaluation, we found increases in student achievement across nearly all grades in the schools evaluated. In some grades,our students soared. For example, our intensive partner schools posted an 18% increase in the number of their “proficient” fifth grade math students.

Brian Rosenbloom, Principal of Chelsea Career and Technical Education High School in Manhattan, paid tribute to Teaching Matters’ impact in the years since he came to the school as a turnaround principal. “They’re our partners,” he said. “What they gave our teachers nobody else was able to do. Teaching Matters has allowed us to give our teachers a level of support unparalleled in the city.”

Students from Chelsea High School graced attendees with a selection from the musical Hairspray, and there was a poetry performance by students from PS 5 (The Port Morris school in the Bronx) as well.