Announcement, News, Press Release

GreenLight Detroit Catalyzes $5 Million Investment in New Teacher Center

Nov 20, 2019



GreenLight Fund invests in New Teacher Center to Boost DPSCD’s Student Achievement and Teacher Retention
The District’s Blueprint 2020 Exceptional Talent Priority Gets Lift with Evidence-Backed Program

DETROIT – November 20, 2019 – Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) has partnered with the GreenLight Fund to invest in a rigorous new teacher program beginning this school year. The New Teacher Center (NTC) will bring its evidence-based professional learning program to DPSCD as part of the District’s Blueprint 2020 priority to boost Exceptional Talent. GreenLight Fund’s initial $650,000 contribution to NTC will lead to $5 million in additional support for DPSCD teachers over five years.

“Through their direct engagement with the District, GreenLight Fund tackled one of our Strategic Plan priorities, Exceptional Talent, which includes recruiting, retaining, and investing in talent development,” said Nikolai Vitti, Superintendent, DPSCD. “Although we have dramatically increased the number of teacher hires and reduced teacher vacancies, we knew that one of our gaps was supporting first year teachers while finding ways to offer our veteran teachers to grow professionally without becoming administrators. We needed to ensure beginning teachers stay with the District to see a greater long-term investment and impact on our students. Veteran teachers, who serve as resources to new teachers, can develop less experienced teachers. This is happening because GreenLight Fund selected New Teacher Center with our collaboration and the partnership reflects the alignment we need to see to maximize resources to best support new teachers and students.”

“We are proud to partner with the District to bring New Teacher Center to Detroit,” said Rishi Moudgil, Executive Director of GreenLight Fund Detroit. “Detroit families want their children’s educators to have the tools and support to succeed, and research shows that teachers are the most critical school-based factor for determining outcomes for students. Along with other important District progress, our vision is that every new teacher in our public schools will be supported through NTC’s best-in-class model.”

New Teacher Center developed a tailored program aligned to the District’s Vision for Excellent Instruction to build capacity to support new teachers through the development of Teacher Mentors. This professional learning model provides school-based mentors with job-embedded, evidence-based support, rooted in academic and social and emotional learning competencies. The veteran, peer Teacher Mentors learn to deliver instructionally-focused, one-to-one support and actionable feedback to new teachers through observation, analysis of student work, and comprehensive data to accelerate educator leadership, teaching practice, and student learning.

NTC will work alongside the District on elevating its own certified educators who have contributed to increasing the rate of student achievement through instruction. More than 115 Teacher Mentors who are current veteran District teachers have already begun the professional learning program. With more than 20 years of expertise working with districts across the county, NTC has found that when educators have high-quality instructional materials and implementation support, students learn more. Rigorous third-party studies have shown that students of NTC supported new teachers in Grades 4 – 8 demonstrated up to five months of additional learning in math and English in one school year.

“We are thrilled to partner with Detroit Public Schools Community District to bring their Blueprint 2020 vision to life and ensure all students have the knowledge and skills to thrive,” said Desmond Blackburn, Chief Executive Officer of NTC. “We know first-hand the profound impact that educators have in their students’ lives. We also know the challenges that teachers and school leaders face when working to meet the diverse needs of their students. The District’s Blueprint 2020 core values of equity, students first, excellence, and integrity are directly aligned to our organization’s mission and through a commitment to professional learning, we will work together to accelerate educators’ instructional practice and prepare them to meet these needs so that the students of Detroit excel.”

Through a yearlong process focused on educator effectiveness and retention, GreenLight Fund and DPSCD identified NTC as the strongest, evidence-based program to build the capacity of Detroit teachers. In 2018 GreenLight Fund convened a coalition of Detroit residents, investors, and leaders who work collectively to improve economic mobility for low-income children and families. GreenLight Fund canvased community needs to identify this specific gap and then searched the nation for proven, innovative approaches before ultimately investing in the expansion of NTC to the District.

While GreenLight Fund’s research process and financial contribution has allowed the District to bring NTC in as a partner, DPSCD is also investing in its success. Using District funds, Mentor Teachers will receive a $700 stipend by the District and be additionally compensated for their four day institute as well as each one hour weekly session with one or two new teachers. The Mentor role will be a pipeline for developing future Master Teachers; NTC embeds best practices in coaching and using curricular examples from District-adopted programs in order to support alignment and professional growth.

Photo above from left to right: Dr. Desmond Blackburn (New Teacher Center CEO), Krystal Robinson (DPSCD Teacher Mentor), Dr. Nikolai Vitti (DPSCD Superintendent), Rishi Moudgil (GreenLight Fund Detroit Exec. Director), Karen Pastor (DPSCD Teacher Mentor), Samantha Ciaffone (DPSCD Teacher Mentee), Beth Gonzales (DPSCD Asst. Superintendent)