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Urban Teacher Center deepens impact with new $1M grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

Baltimore, MD – Urban Teacher Center (UTC) recently received a major grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The $1M grant will help UTC to develop the next stage of its impact strategy, as it expands its influence in Baltimore and Washington D.C. public schools.

UTC was founded in 2009 to prepare excellent teachers for the nation’s highest-need schools and currently partners with 75 district and public charter schools in Baltimore and D.C. The organization takes an unusual approach—requiring all participants to commit to working with UTC in its partner schools for four years and, in turn, making a guarantee to schools that every UTC teacher they hire will have already demonstrated their effectiveness.

Demand for UTC teachers has grown each year, as has enrollment, and satisfaction rates remains high among participants and school leaders. “Because of the preparation and evaluation they receive, UTC teachers are not like other first-year teachers,” explains Nikki Ayanna Stewart, Chief Academic Officer of Excel Academy Public Charter School. “With UTC, I have a pipeline of effective teachers into my school who immediately add more value. “

Jennifer Green, UTC’s Co-Founder and Co-Director, says, “Our goal is to tip student performance in low-performing schools and districts by preparing a cadre of truly excellent teachers. At the same time, we want to be a model for teacher education nationally. This new grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is both a vote of confidence in our work this far, and critical support as we look ahead at how to bring this model to scale and maximize our impact in our first two cities.”

The twenty-two month grant will support UTC’s core operations as staff design and roll out a new strategic plan to guide growth in Baltimore and D.C. Funds will also support codification of a core component of UTC’s curriculum: a “data literacy” strand, which trains teachers to use assessment data to guide instruction and improve student learning. At the end of the grant period, UTC will be poised to share these practices more broadly, serving as a model for preparing data-driven, effective teachers.

“We have been impressed by Urban Teacher Center’s ground-breaking work in Baltimore and D.C.,” said Micah Sagebiel, U.S. Education Program Officer for the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.  “Deepening its work in these cities and extending its commitment to teacher training are essential elements to better student outcomes.”

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Urban Teacher Center believes that schools need a guarantee: every teacher they hire should be able to improve student outcomes. UTC’s innovative, multi-year teacher preparation model ensures that every teacher it certifies has demonstrated effectiveness in the classroom.

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