(DALLAS) — Urban Teachers, a national teacher preparation program, announced today that it has received a $2 million grant from the Texas Instruments (TI) Foundation to enhance Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning in the Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) and in Uplift Education, the largest public charter school network in North Texas.
The grant represents an anchor in a coalition of investments into Dallas public school students. It is the largest multi-year contribution TI Foundation has made in Urban Teachers since it began making annual investments in 2017.
“Students need effective teachers who inspire a deep love of learning, and who support the unique talents and interests all children bring to the classroom,” said Emily Garcia, Founding Executive Director of Urban Teachers, Dallas. “Through the support of partners like the TI Foundation, Urban Teachers will recruit, prepare and coach classroom teachers who will nurture passion for and competency in STEM subjects.”
The grant will bolster Urban Teachers’ operations and encourage program participants to zero-in on STEM-related pedagogy as part of their master’s degree coursework at Johns Hopkins University.
Urban Teachers CEO Peter Shulman says preparing educators who can effectively teach STEM subjects aligns with the organization’s mission to accelerate student achievement and disrupt systems of racial and socioeconomic inequity.
For example, though Black and Latinx students enter STEM studies at relatively the same rate as white students, they leave STEM majors at twice the rate of white students. Researchers theorize that a combination of lack of access to academic support, and discrimination and bias contribute to this disparity. Therefore, it is our responsibility to recruit future Black and Latinx STEM educators who reflect the lived experience of children we serve because we know that students who are taught by teachers of color have more academic success, are more likely to graduate and have increased college aspirations.
The generosity of the TI Foundation will make the study of STEM subjects and future careers in math and science a reality for children across the Dallas area.
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Texas Instruments Foundation. Their generous contribution empowers Urban Teachers to develop educators who inspire students to analyze, question and investigate. Children in these classrooms will grow up prepared to lead the industries of tomorrow,” Shulman said.
Since Urban Teachers opened in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in 2016, it has welcomed more than more than 450 aspiring teachers into its four-year teacher preparation program. In the initial “Residency” year, Residents support an experienced teacher’s classroom, offering small group instruction and one-on-one interventions with students. They also receive intensive one-on-one coaching and work toward their master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Education.
In year two, participants become Fellows in the program and are hired on as full-time classroom teachers in traditional public and public charter schools as they finish their master’s degree coursework and continue to receive coaching. Coaching tapers off in year three, and by year four, many Urban Teachers educators have advanced to teacher leadership positions in their respective schools.
This rigorous and gradual preparation ensures our teachers are far more equipped than typical novice teachers. According to Dallas ISD, during the 2017-2018 school year first-year teachers from the Urban Teachers program received the highest rating, “proficient,” at nearly double the rate of non-Urban Teachers.
“For years, the TI Foundation has invested heavily in education programs in North Texas to increase the number of Black, Latinx and female high school graduates with strong math and science skills,” said Andy Smith, executive director of the TI Foundation. “We believe this starts with helping teachers become more effective, and it’s why we invest in programs such as Urban Teachers and its mission to create a pipeline of highly-effective educators with diverse experiences and a commitment to their students and the communities in which they teach.”
Olivia Hubble, a seventh-grade math teacher at Uplift Heights Middle School in Dallas, said the Residency year gave her an advantage that most first- or second-year teachers don’t have.
“It allowed me to observe and learn from master teachers while gaining experience,” Hubble said. “The extensive training from Urban Teachers, coursework from Johns Hopkins University, and clinical hours on my school site put me ahead of the curve.”
# # #
About Urban Teachers
At Urban Teachers, we believe great teachers are the key to combating racial and socioeconomic inequality. Our mission is to improve educational and life outcomes of children in urban schools by preparing culturally competent, effective career teachers who accelerate student achievement and disrupt systems of racial and socioeconomic inequity. Since Urban Teachers participants first entered Baltimore and DC classrooms in 2010, more than 1,000 Urban Teachers participants have served nearly 100,000 children across Baltimore, DC and Dallas. Learn more about our teacher preparation program and our impact at urbanteachers.org.
About Texas Instruments Foundation
The Texas Instruments Foundation, founded in 1964, is a non-profit organization solely funded by Texas Instruments providing philanthropic support for educational and charitable purposes primarily in the communities where TI operates. Committed to supporting educational excellence, the foundation works to create measurable, replicable programs and initiatives. The focus is on providing knowledge, skills and programs to improve STEM education and increase the percentage of high school graduates who are math and science capable. More information can be found at www.ti.com/education.