The National Demonstration Project


Annual Report 2001 Contents | Brochures and Reports

Contents of section:


Aims and Scope

The National Demonstration Project, supported by a four-year grant of $2.5 million from the DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund (now the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds), has aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of adaptations of the Institute approach at several other sites. It has directed its attention to sites where school systems serve a significant number of students from low-income communities, but where the pattern and magnitude of needs and resources are different from those that obtain in New Haven, and where significant opportunities exist, without varying from our approach, for devising local strategies in meeting those needs. During the period from March 1998 through January 1999 the Teachers Institute had invited fourteen sites to submit proposals for 8-month Planning Grants, had supervised the awarding of those Grants on recommendation of a National Panel to five of the seven applicants, and had provided for the recipients a “July Intensive” that enabled a practical immersion in the processes of the Institute, and then, on recommendation of the National Panel, awarded 3-year Implementation Grants to four applicants. Those receiving the Implementation Grants were: Chatham College, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Pittsburgh Public Schools; the University of Houston and the Houston Independent School District; the University of New Mexico and the Albuquerque Public Schools; and the University of California at Irvine and the Santa Ana Unified School District.

The four sites represent quite different urban challenges. All have school systems considerably larger than that of New Haven, and all must deal with serious problems associated with low-income communities and a high proportion of racial and ethnic diversity. But they also illustrate a variety of institutional arrangements and different strategies in approaching those problems. The institutions of higher education include: in Pittsburgh a partnership between a private university focused upon the sciences and a small liberal arts college; in Houston a state-supported urban university; in Albuquerque a flagship state university; and in Irvine a university that is part of a larger state system and is collaborating with the nearby school district of Santa Ana.

During 1999 the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute began, in part through a second July Intensive Session and the First Annual Conference, to work with the new Teachers Institutes on their plans, provide technical assistance, and encourage their collaboration. It also began to work with the newly established National Steering Committee and National University Advisory Council, and with the external evaluator for the Project, Policy Studies Associates. These efforts continued in 2000, in part through a second series of site visits and the Second Annual Conference, in which each of the five Teachers Institutes helped to present the challenges and accomplishments of the National Demonstration Project thus far. In November, at a meeting of the National Advisory Committee jointly with senior administrators from the partnerships collaborating in the new Teachers Institutes, those present enthusiastically supported a Draft Proposal for the next phase of the continuing National Initiative, which would seek to establish additional Teachers Institutes across the country. In response to suggestions made at that meeting, the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute revised and expanded that Proposal during 2001.

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National Advisory Committee meeting with university and school officials from the demonstration sites, November 2000. (Left to right: Owen M. Lopez, Gordon M. Ambach, Director James R. Vivian, Rogers M. Smith, Richard Ekman, Sam Lasseter, Rod Paige, David L. Warren, John W. Thompson.)

During 2001, the last year of the Implementation Grants under the National Demonstration Project, the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute continued its work with the newly established Teachers Institutes, in part through a third series of site visits and the Third Annual Conference in October. On this occasion the members of teams from all five Teachers Institutes were distributed throughout the panels and discussion groups, as the Conference sought to sum up the accomplishments of the Demonstration Project. The four newly established Institutes submitted their third annual reports in November, 2001. They will be submitting their final reports early in 2002, at which time they may apply for research and planning grants as part of the Preparation Phase of the Yale National Initiative. The Preparation Phase is being partially funded by a one-year extension of the National Demonstration Project under the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds. (See below, “The Continuing National Initiative.”)




The four sites represent quite different urban challenges. All have school systems considerably larger than that of New Haven.


Those present enthusiastically supported a next phase of the continuing National Initiative, which would seek to establish additional Teachers Institutes across the country.

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The Roles of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

During the Grant from the Fund, the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute has had a dual relationship to the four other Teachers Institutes. It has been both the monitor of the Re-Grants to those Institutes and a senior colleague. It has been responsible for offering technical assistance, for convening the January Orientation Session and the July Intensive Session in 1999, Directors’ meetings in 2000 and 2001, and the Annual Conferences in 1999, 2000, and 2001. It has maintained the National Steering Committee and the National University Advisory Council, sponsored the national periodical On Common Ground, and helped in other ways to further the aims of this network of Teachers Institutes and to disseminate their accomplishments. It has conducted site visits each year to offer assistance and to gain information about the progress of each new Institute. It has received reports from the new Teachers Institutes and compiled its own report to the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds. It has collaborated with Policy Studies Associates in providing information for their external evaluation. At the same time, it has encouraged the other Teachers Institutes to develop both a necessary independence and a collaborative spirit. Its aim has been to assist in transforming the group of five Teachers Institutes into a network that might in the future be extended to include Institutes at yet other sites.

These roles have required a continuing reassessment of this Institute’s appropriate emphases. During the planning phase, we mainly provided information and experience that might enable the demonstration sites to apprehend and internalize the basic principles of this Institute. By the January Orientation in 1999, the four demonstration sites had begun to work in the spirit of those principles and discover their own collaborative relationships. During the July Intensive Session in that year, the plenary meetings were held about a pentagonal table in order to signal the fundamental equality of the five collaborating Institutes. We planned the First Annual Conference as an occasion for the demonstration sites to step forward with their own best accomplishments and experiences, while we stepped back somewhat to the position of observers. We joined the other Institutes, however, in sending a team to the Second Annual Conference in 2000, and the national planning committee shaped a program that would ensure that the various topics were presented by representation from all Institutes. And for the Third Annual Conference in 2001, the teams from all five Institutes were distributed among the various panels and discussion groups.

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July 1999 Intensive Plenary Session. (Clockwise from left: Peter N. Herndon, Director James R. Vivian, Thomas R. Whitaker, and Jean E. Sutherland, New Haven; Jennifer D. Murphy, Aaron B. Chávez, Wanda Martin, and Douglas L. Earick, Albuquerque; John Groch, Helen S. Faison, Verna Arnold, and Margaret M. McMackin, Pittsburgh; Timeri K. Tolnay, Barbara Kuhn Al-Bayati, and Mel E. Sanchez, Santa Ana; Daniel Addis, Joy Teague, William J. Pisciella, Paul D. Cooke, and Ninfa A. Sepúlveda, Houston.)

During 2001 the Implementation Team of Yale faculty members and New Haven Teachers again assisted with planning, carrying out, and assessing the site visits to the four new Institutes. As in earlier years a Protocol was established to guide the members of the site visit teams. (For members of the Implementation Team, see Appendix.) Supplementary Protocols highlighted the issues specific to each site that had emerged in monitoring by Institute staff and members of the Implementation Team. In two instances Director James Vivian also made an individual visit to a site. This year our main emphasis was on gaining an impression of the Institutes’ first three years of operation, their prospects for continuation, and their plans for systematic impact in subsequent years. The visit to Houston was made on April 16-18 by James Vivian, Thomas Whitaker (Yale faculty member) and Jean Sutherland (New Haven teacher). The visit to Irvine-Santa Ana was made on April 24-26 by Thomas Whitaker, Peter Herndon (New Haven teacher), and Dina Secchiaroli (New Haven teacher). A visit to Pittsburgh was made on April 30-May 2 by Thomas Whitaker and Steven Broker (New Haven teacher). James Vivian then visited Pittsburgh on May 17. A visit to Albuquerque was made on June 20-22 by James Vivian, Thomas Whitaker, Steven Broker, and Mary Miller (Yale faculty member). James Vivian had also made an earlier visit to Albuquerque on January 11.


During the July Intensive Session plenary meetings were held about a pentagonal table in order to signal the fundamental equality of the five collaborating Institutes.






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The Common Work of the Five Teachers Institutes

The Directors' Meeting: A Directors’ Meeting of the five Institutes was held on March 19, 2001, in New York City. The Directors reported on the programs that each of the five Teachers Institutes had planned for 2001 and commented on any significant developments at their sites, and any changes being adopted or considered. They decided that the survey on curriculum use at each demonstration site would be made during December of 2001or in January of 2002 and that the results would be reported not in the third Annual Narrative Report but in the Final Report.

James Vivian noted that the site visits this year would spend less time in visiting schools than in previous years. They would seek to include meetings with university and district people who were thinking with an Institute about prospects for sustainability after this year and plans for achieving significant systemic impact within the district. He also stated that the contractual specification of size for an Institute had been somewhat underestimated, given the need to expand over the period of three years, and he assured the Directors that they might well add other schools within their partnering district if that seemed appropriate. (In a later communication, he reminded the Directors that we need a current table of demographic characteristics of teachers and students in all the schools presently targeted.)

The group agreed on a planning process for the Third Annual Conference, to be held in New Haven on October 19-20. It was agreed that for this Conference the members of the participating teams would be distributed among different groups according to topic discussed or function performed. It was also agreed that the number of teachers and seminar leaders attending from each Institute would be increased. And it was further agreed that each Institute might recommend inviting a few persons from the following categories: a university or college president or chancellor or his representative; a school superintendent or his representative; principals from schools with concentrations of Fellows; officers of foundations and corporations that have funded the Institute, or are considering future funding; and the state commissioner or superintendent of public education. The National Steering Committee and the University Advisory Committee, joined by Helen Faison, Director of the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute, as the representative of the Directors, would establish the Conference agenda. Directors would then name the teachers and seminar leaders who would attend the Conference and nominate people from other categories who might be invited, and they would also nominate those who volunteered to lead or participate in the various discussion groups.

In conclusion, there was some discussion of the meeting of university and school officials with Yale President Levin and the Institute’s National Advisory Committee (described above) concerning the proposal for the establishing of Teachers Institutes across the nation. A draft revised to incorporate their recommendations had been enclosed in the mailing that announced the Directors’ meeting.

The National Steering Committee and the National University Advisory Council: Separate and joint meetings of this Committee and this Council were held in Chicago on May 18-19. A separate meeting of the Steering Committee discussed, in the light of suggestions made by the Directors, the design of the survey on curriculum units. They will be conducted at all demonstration sites in December 2001 or January 2002 and will request information regarding the use of curriculum units from 1999 through the end of the first semester or term of the 2000-2001 school year. They will be administered to all Fellows who have participated in seminars during the life of the project (1999, 2000, and 2001) and to non-Fellows in the participating schools in which at least five percent of the faculty currently eligible for participation have been Fellows. A second separate meeting of the Steering Committee agreed upon a plan for the members to communicate with each other via e-mail and arrange to conduct monthly virtual meetings via Yahoo Messenger. A separate meeting of the Council discussed the progress made in establishing faculty councils at each Institute and explored further means that might exist for strengthening communication among seminar leaders from all the Institutes. Both meetings also provided opportunities to give advice on the possible plans for deepening the four new Institutes’ work and establishing additional Institutes in cities across the country. The joint meeting, which Helen Faison attended as a representative of the Directors, was then devoted to planning the agenda for the Third Annual Conference.

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National Steering Committee meeting in Chicago, May 2001. (Clockwise from left: Blake Learmonth, Albuquerque; Mel E. Sanchez, Santa Ana; Daniel Addis, Houston; Helen S. Faison and Carol Petett, Pittsburgh.)

The Third Annual Conference: The Third Annual Conference, the culminating event in the National Demonstration Project, was held in New Haven on October 19-20. Each site was asked to send four current or former seminar leaders, eight current Fellows, and its Director. Each site could also recommend that a few individuals be invited from the following categories: university or college president or chancellor or his representative; school superintendent or his representative; principals from schools with concentrations of Fellows; officers of foundations and corporations that have funded the Institute, or are considering future funding; and state commissioner or superintendent of public education. The Conference was designed to afford the participants and their invited guests an opportunity to discuss their experience and to talk about the future of their own educational partnerships and of their collaborative work across the country.





The Steering Committee discussed the design of the survey on curriculum units.












The Conference, the culminating event in the National Demonstration Project, was held in New Haven.


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Plenary Session at the Third Annual Conference in New Haven, October 2001.

Concern about airline safety only slightly reduced attendance, indicating the importance of this Conference in the minds of the participants. The five teams of Directors, university faculty, and Fellows were augmented by invited guests that included: the Counsel to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education; the President of Yale University; the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Chatham College; the Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, University of New Mexico; the Associate Superintendent, New Haven Public Schools; the Chief Academic Officer, Houston Independent School District; the Chief of Staff, Pittsburgh Board of Education; a Principal from Houston; a Principal from Pittsburgh; the Dean of Instruction, Sharpstown Middle School, Houston; a Homebound Teacher, Community Services, Houston; the Director of Foundation Relations and a Development Officer, Yale University; the Senior Program Officer, William Randolph Hearst Foundation; and a Grant Officer, Houston Endowment.

The Conference program was designed by the National Steering Committee, composed of a Fellow from each site; the National University Advisory Council, composed of a seminar leader from each site; and the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute Director, who represented all the site directors when these groups met in Chicago in May with the National Project Director to plan the meeting.

The Opening Plenary Session was chaired by Mary E. Miller, Co-Chair of the University Advisory Council for the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. She introduced Helen Faison, Director of the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute, who reported for the Conference Planning Committee. “Now that we have demonstrated that the approach to professional development that has been so successful in New Haven can be tailored to establish similar university-school partnerships under different circumstances, in different places,” she said, “we need now to exchange ideas, to cross-fertilize the thinking of each of our groups in order that we may move forward.”

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The Third Annual Conference in New Haven, October 2001. (Left to right: Richard C. Levin, Mary E. Miller, Helen S. Faison.)

President Richard C. Levin, President of Yale University, then welcomed the group and made some opening remarks about the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute and the National Demonstration Project. “The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute,” he said,

is a remarkable, successful experiment. It’s taken root here; it’s really very much a part of the fabric of the life of the New Haven schools. It is an important component of professional development for the teachers in this city and an extraordinary opportunity for our faculty to participate in a collegial way with school teachers whose work is so important in the future of this nation. I am a great enthusiast for the National Demonstration Project. And I do want to encourage all of you to sustain the programs in each of your cities. Even though the National Demonstration Project comes to an end, the mission carries on, and we do hope that the programs in Santa Ana, and Albuquerque, and Pittsburgh, and Houston will take root in your communities in the same way that the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute has taken root in New Haven.

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The Third Annual Conference in New Haven, October 2001. (Left to right: Mary E. Miller, Richard C. Levin, and Renee C. Tolliver.)

He vigorously endorsed the aim of expanding “the number of cities and universities and colleges who are engaged in this kind of enterprise, ” noting that this idea has received a ringing endorsement from Secretary Rod Paige in the current issue of On Common Ground. And he expressed thanks to the people from the Wallace Reader’s Digest Funds, “who have made it possible for all of this to happen.”


“We need now to exchange ideas, to cross-fertilize the thinking of each of our groups in order that we may move forward.”
—Helen S. Faison




“Even though the National Demonstration Project comes to an end, the mission carries on, and we do hope that the programs . . . will take root in your communities in the same way that the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute has taken root in New Haven.”
—Richard C. Levin




Mary E. Miller then moderated a panel on the topic: “What Have We Accomplished?” Brief comments were offered by Ninfa Sepúlveda, a Fellow from the Houston Teachers Institute, Rene Tolliver, a Fellow from the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute, and Kate Krause, a seminar leader from the Albuquerque Teachers Institute. They spoke of the growth of the Institutes over three years, the increasing impacts they have had on the teachers’ lives and teaching and so on the learning of many more students, the financial challenges and successes, and the teachers’ work in recruiting for an Institute, monitoring its processes, and shaping its direction. These points were amplified by various members of the group in the discussion that followed.

After a break for examining Institute displays, those in attendance moved to Breakout Sessions on the topic: “From Institute Seminar to School Classroom.” Four concurrent roundtable discussions were held on the impact of Institute participation on teaching and learning in urban schools, each led by two Fellows from different sites. Among the topics considered were the impact on the teaching experience and on the students; possible enduring effects of the bridge built between the classroom or school and the host university; specific components of curriculum units that would have been impossible or unlikely without the seminar experience; ways in which the Institute experience has opened doors for the Fellows’ students at the host university; and suggestions for strengthening the impact of the Institutes on teaching and learning. In one session, for example, the participants emphasized the need for Institutes to be “institutionalized” in order for them to be sustained in the long term. They urged the development of portfolios and other means of assessing the outcomes of student endeavor. And they suggested that, because of the evident value of the seminars, an Institute should work to make them more visible to parents, to other schools, and to other segments of the community.

At the luncheon, then, the whole group received reports on these Breakout Sessions and James R. Vivian gave a charge to the Caucuses on Past Accomplishments and Future Plans. He reviewed the planning for the expansion of the Institute’s national initiative and the strong support given to the proposal by site representatives and the National Advisory Committee last November. He said:

We also heard a consensus in favor of adding an initial phase in which we concentrate on strengthening the existing Institutes and documenting the contributions of the Institute approach, followed by a steady pursuit of the national expansion the proposal described. Now that they have implemented the Institute approach under diverse circumstances, each new Institute, they thought, should intensify its local efforts and devise its own strategy for systemic impact. This, it appeared . . . might be a highly creative next phase of the national project.

He then announced the extension of support from the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds into 2003 and a new grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund that would make possible the Preparation Phase of the Yale National Initiative. And he stated that we therefore need the Caucuses’ advice, to help us shape that Preparation Phase, on three questions in particular:


“Now that they have implemented the Institute approach under diverse circumstances, each new Institute . . . should intensify its local efforts and devise its own strategy for systemic impact.”
—James R. Vivian

• What are the most promising ways for assessing and demonstrating what you believe the Demonstration Project has accomplished locally and nationally?

• How best can we study our collaborative work over the past four years to identify those strategies for working together—whether through conferences such as this one, Summer Intensives such as those conducted in 1999 and 2000, site visits, or in other ways—for developing new Teachers Institutes?

• How can each of the Institutes now achieve a systemic impact in the school district?

The Caucus of Fellows was led by Ninfa A. Sepúlveda of the Houston Teachers Institute; the Caucus of Seminar Leaders was led by Jules D. Prown of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute; the Caucus of School and University Administrators and Foundation Officials was led by Michele J. Sabino, Grant Officer at the Houston Endowment; and the Caucus of Directors was led by Paul Cooke of the Houston Teachers Institute.

In the very large Caucus of Fellows, four groups reported on their responses to the key questions. There was a consensus that there have been successful transplants of the Yale-New Haven program; that successful collaborations have been developed, not only between teachers and university faculty members, but also among teachers; that these are successful teacher-driven programs; that many well-developed curriculum units have been written; that the teaching of these units has encouraged higher level questioning and thinking and increased mastery of content areas; that there are successful interdisciplinary programs; that there has been significant development of teacher leadership; that the Institute are being incorporated into district infrastructures; and that a basis for a national network has been established. With regard to a research agenda and future developments, however, the responses were various. It was agreed that much data collection takes place now and should be continued. It was felt, however, that in some respects the autonomy of the Institutes and the teacher-driven nature of the programs might best be served by not integrating the Institutes too deeply with district infrastructures. It was noted that in larger districts it would be difficult or impossible to reach a large percentage of the teacher population. All agreed that each Institute should continue to be active with a national network of Institutes, that July Intensive Programs have been valuable, and that it will be useful to have further annual conferences.





There was a consensus that there have been successful transplants of the Yale-New Haven program; that successful collaborations have been developed, not only between teachers and university faculty members, but also among teachers; that these are successful teacher-driven programs.

In the Caucus of Seminar Leaders, much emphasis was placed on the achievement of a bridge between the university and the community in which it exists. It is a mode for institutional outreach and a way in which to keep the focus on issues of diversity. An Institute is also valuable, members of this Caucus said, in strengthening the “educational continuum,” the continuity of the educational experience, and helping people at different stages of their academic career. Another accomplishment is the development within each university of a core of senior faculty who remain in contact with each other and have an influence within the institution that they can exercise on behalf of the Teachers Institute and related issues. Seminar leaders also spoke of the advantages of visiting the schools in which their Fellows have taught. They felt that new Institutes should visit the existing sites as part of their developing their own proposals. They also felt that the new sites should, if possible, be K-12 sites and should arrive at a clear understanding of the degree of support that can be expected from their school district or districts and from the university. The seminar leaders also thought that the July Intensives were valuable but in future should led by faculty from other institutions in addition to Yale. The annual conferences, too, in future, should move around from site to site. The seminar leaders thought that the National Project office should be a center for communication and have a role in developing national funding. Some felt that it should also have an important role in establishing standards and assessing the progress and the operation of the various Institutes.

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Breakout Session at the Third Annual Conference in New Haven, October 2001. (Clockwise from back left: Joan R. Gundersen, Verdell M. Roberts, Susanne Baackmann, Carolyn N. Kinder, Glenda Thompson, and Patricia Y. Gordon.)

Those attending the Caucus of School and University Administrators and Foundation Officials testified to the professional growth of public school teachers, a decrease in teacher isolation and an increase in collaboration, a growth of high quality, content-rich curriculum in direct correlation with the participation of colleges of arts and sciences, a mutual respect among institutions, and a reinvigorated interest in the joy of learning in both teachers and university professors. The group proposed that there be studies of the impact of the curriculum units on student learning, the impact of the Institutes’ programs on teacher progress and professional development (specific skill-related outcomes), and the ways in which teaching teachers to become inquiry-based learners has improved styles and strategies of teaching and so improved the learning in the classroom. It also wanted to add communicative skills as an integral part of the Institute program, and then conduct research to determine whether an increase of communicative skills would improve teaching and learning. And it felt that Institutes should become a line item in the professional development budgets of school districts. The National Project office, in the view of this group, might coordinate a research agenda, help all the sites network with each other, establish priorities for grant applications, promote a national legislative agenda, disseminate strong outcomes, and assist local sites with public relations and publicity.

The Caucus of Directors covered many of these same points. They also spoke of the development of a national organization for rigorous professional development of teachers on both school and university levels. They noted that an Institute can provide an unusual opportunity for university faculty members to analyze their own teaching methods. Institutes have also moved the professional development of public school teachers outside the exclusive province of colleges of education, have strengthened the professional morale for teachers and faculty, and have involved teachers in addressing standards. And the Directors also cited the importance of using the Teachers Institutes to meet outreach requirements for grants, and the desirability of a national group to assist in providing rigorous planning and benefits for institutions.

The Plenary Session that followed, moderated by Roberto González Echevarría, Co-Chair of the University Advisory Council of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, received reports from these four Caucuses.






Those attending the Caucus of School and University Administrators and Foundation Officials testified to the professional growth of public school teachers, a decrease in teacher isolation and an increase in collaboration, a growth of high quality, content-rich curriculum.

Institutes have strengthened the professional morale for teachers and faculty, and have involved teachers in addressing standards.

After a reception at the Yale Center for British Art, during which Jules D. Prown presented some remarks on the Center and current exhibitions, those in attendance had dinner at the Sterling Memorial Library. James Vivian then introduced Susan Sclafani, Counsel to the Secretary of Education. “No one,” he said, “has provided more strategic or more timely leadership and support for the establishment of the Houston Teachers Institute than our speaker this evening has done.”

Susan Sclafani addressed the group on “Teacher Development, Critical to Leaving No Child Behind.” After speaking of the necessity of both standards and an assessment system, she said: “We’ve got to change the way in which we prepare our young people.” And she amplified:

Part of the reason that you are working in this Institute is because you have understood that you weren’t getting all of your children engaged; that there had to be better ways to develop curriculum, there had to be better ways to learn. You needed yourself to learn new strategies that could be effective with the young people you teach—and to do that in a way that you had some say about.

Most professional development offered in America, she said,

is not first rate. It is an attempt to focus on those areas that we think are most important, but to do it the same way for everybody. That ends up not being much better than our trying to teach all of our students the same way; it doesn’t work. What appealed to us in Houston—and what appealed to your in Albuquerque and Pittsburgh and Santa Ana—was that there was a different way of doing it. There was a way to change your way of thinking about how you might approach a topic, how to engage yourselves in an experience that got you excited about a topic that you thought you might have some interest in, and then to figure out, among you, how do you take this back—some of you to elementary-school children, others of your to middle-school children, others of you to high-school children. That is one of the challenges that is so exciting about this project: that the same topic that you engage in, on an adult level, can be presented at so many different levels to the young people that you teach.

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Third Annual Conference in New Haven, October 2001. (Left to right: Jean E. Sutherland, Robert Stockwell, Verdell M. Roberts, Susan K. Sclafani, and Helen S. Faison.)

Sclafani spoke of “teacher quality” as “the most important factor in whether our children learn.” And that, she said, “is what this project is all about.”











“That is one of the challenges that is so exciting about this project: that the same topic that you engage in, on an adult level, can be presented at so many different levels to the young people that you teach.”
—Susan K. Sclafani
Counsel to the Secretary of Education

It is taking teachers who sometimes get disheartened by what large systems do to them, who don’t believe that people really believe that they are very good or that they are important or that they can make real contributions, because sometimes administrations don’t act that way. Instead, it says, “Take this opportunity, create for yourselves a seminar that will excite you, that will give you an opportunity to look at a topic in a different way, and then figure out how to take this back to your students in a way that will engage them as they haven’t been engaged before.”

She challenged the group “to figure out how to expand and grow” the number of teachers involved in Teachers Institutes, within the cities represented now by such Institutes and within other cities when they want to join in this process. “How do we turn district-wide professional development into this?” she asked. “How do you start having an influence on the way in which all teachers are engaged in intellectual pursuits? Because that really is the great issue.”

On the following morning there were five concurrent Breakout Sessions on Institute practices: “Handling Seminar Dynamics,” led by Amelia Regan, UCI-Santa Ana Teachers Institute, and Lynn W. Marsico, Pittsburgh Teachers Institute; “Writing Syllabi and Helping Teachers Write Curriculum Units,” led by Thomas R. Whitaker, Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute; “Challenges of Leading and Coordinating a Seminar,” led by Janet E. Stocks, Pittsburgh Teachers Institute, and Jean Sutherland, Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute; “Disseminating Curriculum Units,” led by Douglas Earick, Albuquerque Teachers Institute, and Marilyn Frenz, UCI-Santa Ana Teachers Institute; and “Implementing and Influencing District and State Standards,” led by Helen S. Faison, Pittsburgh Teachers Institute. The session on “Writing Syllabi and Helping Teachers Write Curriculum Units,” for example, dealt to a large extent with the need for seminar leaders to meet at the outset with the directors and with experienced Fellows to get a better sense of the nature of this kind of seminar. The session on “Handling Seminar Dynamics” dealt with several problems that might be met by a seminar leader. It suggested some techniques that seminar leaders and coordinators might use in such instances and two institute-wide measures that should be maintained or inaugurated—a strong commitment to equity, inclusion, and respect for diversity, and training sessions for leaders and coordinators.


“How do we turn district-wide professional development into this? . . . How do you start having an influence on the way in which all teachers are engaged in intellectual pursuits? Because that really is the great issue.”
—Susan K. Sclafani
Counsel to the Secretary of Education

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Breakout Session at the Third Annual Conference in New Haven, October 2001. (Clockwise from left: David Judkins, Debi Kierst, Elisabeth L. Roark, Paul D. Cooke, Leonard Retiz, Renee C. Tolliver.)

The session on “Implementing and Influencing District and State Standards,” in contrast, began with a review by Helen Faison of the history of the movement toward standards, and it then addressed questions concerning the advantages and the dangers in standards-based education, the special problems related to such education in urban school districts, the role of the Institute in the standards-based movement in those districts, the future role of the Institute as the model expands. At the end of the session a principal and school district official praised the institutes as “a new wave of professional development” and “invaluable.” An associate superintendent urged “a national teachers institute of some kind.” And teachers said: “The Institutes give teachers a chance to be responsible for their own teaching,” and “It’s the best professional development I’ve ever had.”

After a break for informal discussion, there were four concurrent Breakout Sessions on Core Values. Each participant was assigned to one of the four sessions. They were led by Colston Chandler, Albuquerque Teachers Institute; Daniel Addis, Houston Teachers Institute; James Davidson, Pittsburgh Teachers Institute; and Connie Weiss, Pittsburgh Teachers Institute. Those in one session felt emphatically that the most important thing that Teachers Institutes do is to improve the quality of teaching in the schools by infusing rigorous academic content knowledge. The seminars, they also felt, provide an opportunity to participate in the joy of learning, which allows the participants to appear to their students as role models of life-long learners. The Fellows in that session felt that the ability to write an academically solid curriculum unit was a more important achievement than the unit itself—though they believed the units to be valuable, especially as the basis for modification in later years. They found that collegiality is an essential feature of the Institutes, they urged that all seminars should be open to all grade levels. With regard to assessment, they urged that, in addition to devising portfolios and other means of assessing the performance of students taught by both Fellows and non-Fellows, there should be some effort to discover evidence that a well-trained teacher leads to better student performance.

Those in another session found the core values of an Institute to be: intellectual rigor (interpreted broadly to include access to resources, real immersion in serious knowledge, fostering the love of learning, and sharing teacher experience with students); professionalism (as fostered by the university, involving seminars based on teacher needs and interests, including adequate compensation, and dictating reciprocal openness of the schools to the university); collegiality (involving equity, openness of seminars to all teachers, respect for diversity, a sense of community, and collaboration); and creation of a curriculum (research-based, designed for specific students, demonstrating professionalism, with narrative guidelines allowing some flexibility).


A principal and school district official praised the institutes as “a new wave of professional development” and “invaluable.” An associate superintendent urged “a national teachers institute of some kind.”

Those in one session felt emphatically that the most important thing that Teachers Institutes do is to improve the quality of teaching in the schools by infusing rigorous academic content knowledge.





Those in a third session stressed as core values: teacher leadership (as articulated through the Institute’s structure); the curriculum units (substantive, including an appropriate form of assessment, written to be implemented in the classroom, and making a contribution to the educational community); the Director (chosen through collaboration between the partners of the Institute); and compensation (for Director, seminar leaders, teacher representatives, and Fellows).

At the closing Plenary Session and luncheon, there were reports from the Breakout Sessions and discussion, moderated by Mary E. Miller, of the topic: “What are the core values in our common work?” A faculty member from a fourth session summed up their conclusions in this way: “At the top of our list, we are teacher-driven and collegial. That’s the source of where these seminars come from. We give seminars, we produce curriculum units, the whole Institute seminar is built on sustained contact between faculty and teachers and it results in some kind of professional transformation, a process of professional development.” The moderator said: “I think the thing that matters most to me is the sense of common professionalism that exists between the university and the school teachers. This has really been for me a very rewarding experience, and one that I think is alien to many people within the university. I would say that from the role I would play in an Institute, it’s at the core of what we do.”







“At the top of our list, we are teacher-driven and collegial. That’s the source of where these seminars come from.”
—Caucus Chair

The Third Annual Conference showed that the five Institutes are prepared to collaborate in many ways, through formal and informal meetings and other communications. All participants welcomed the fact that the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute had now assumed a position of equality with the others in both the planning and the carrying out of the Conference.

Responses from team-members to the questionnaire distributed by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute were even more uniformly positive than after the Second Annual Conference. There were repeated calls for the continuation of Annual Conferences and for a new series of July Intensives. There were many suggestions as to ways of assessing student outcomes and providing demonstrations of an Institute’s effectiveness. One Director said:

Overall, I think this year’s Conference was the most organized and best run of all the Annual Conferences. In particular, I think the discussions on Future Plans and on ways for the National Teachers Institute Association to work together hold the most promise and should be developed more fully.

Another Director said:

It is my hope that the new Institutes will continue to exist and will remain in touch with each other and with the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. It is my hope that the Institute will be expanded to accommodate more of the schools and teachers in the district and that the School District will encourage teacher participation in the Institute and their use of the curriculum units that they and other teachers develop. It is also my hope that the Institute will be able to respond successfully to the local district’s need to offer seminar experiences for teachers in academic disciplines that are undergoing significant change to prepare students to achieve the new academic standards that are being implemented nationwide, such as in reading, mathematics, and writing. This, I hope, the Institute will be able to do without abandoning the salient features of the teacher professional development model that has been developed in New Haven.

For the local research effort, this Director indicated an interest in discovering if there is a difference in the performance of teachers after they participate in the Institute and a difference in the learning outcomes of the students enrolled in their classes, and also discovering if the instructional competence of teachers who participate in Institute seminars of their choice exceeds that of teachers who participate in mandatory professional development offered by their school districts. A university administrator said on this topic:

There’s a growing body of research on teacher effectiveness, and growing interest in sustaining teacher professional growth, building on the call from the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future for a qualified teacher in every classroom and the observed need to retain qualified teachers in a time of teacher shortage. And research on learning has pretty clearly established that active, inquiry-based learning is more effective than learning by lecture, rote, or drill. The Institutes should build a research agenda around these observations by systematically studying teachers’ professional lives to understand how participating in Institutes affects Fellows’ longevity in the classroom, their motivation to engage in other professional development, and their approaches to teaching. While “teacher testimonials” won’t be persuasive, systematic study of the quality of teacher professional lives can be.

A school district administrator agreed that “We need to articulate the professional development research that has linked student achievement with quality teachers and teaching. It is available.” The university administrator also suggested, with regard to “systemic impact,” that






“This, I hope, the Institute will be able to do without abandoning the salient features of the teacher professional development model that has been developed in New Haven.”
—Institute Director



“Research on learning has pretty clearly established that active, inquiry-based learning is more effective than learning by lecture, rote, or drill. The Institutes should build a research agenda around these observations.”
—University Administrator

We should study the schools in which concentrations of Fellows teach to understand how colleagues can influence the professional community within those walls, what difference Fellowship makes to those communities, and how Fellows and those without them may help to establish the value of the Institutes.

Looking toward the future, a university faculty member said: “There can be no impact unless the school system wants it. The substantial commitment of the school system in the preparation of the proposals should be carefully verified.” He added: “I feel that the most important thing prospective new sites can do is to develop strategies for long-term financial stability, at least to the extent that local political uncertainties allow.” And he concluded:

I was extremely pleased to return to this last Annual Conference to see how well each program was developing and to learn something of the impact of the program at each site. Because I lean naturally toward cynicism, it was especially useful in boosting my belief that a collection of these programs can really make a difference.

The responses of school teachers were generally in accord with the views expressed by directors, administrators, and university faculty members. Several urged the use of pre- and post-testing as part of curriculum units. Such data, said one, “can be collected and put into a format that can be meaningful.” Another stated that “it is necessary to establish greater district level involvement without diminishing the significance of the seminars being teacher driven.” Another said: “I think the Yale model is a good one and that new Teachers Institutes should adhere as closely to the model as is practical. We received a lot of help from Yale and the new Institutes will also need this same sort of guidance.”

Another teacher said: “I think we should have a national office or a national organization that will allow the various Institutes to retain the same core values and original mission of the Yale-New Haven Institute as a unifying theme.” And yet another teacher said that the continued collaboration of the new Teachers Institutes is “crucial.” Commenting on the value of such an Annual Conference as this, she said: “I only wish we had more time to discuss curriculum units, problems in writing, teaching conditions, and strengths and weaknesses of site practices.” And she recalled with approval the process by which the Urban Sites Network (under the National Writing Project) took on new sites as cohorts, adding more each year, the new sites working with the existing sites.

As it prepares for the continuing of the National Initiative, the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute will be paying close attention to the suggestions offered during this Third Annual Conference.


“I was extremely pleased to see how well each program was developing . . . Because I lean naturally toward cynicism, it was especially useful in boosting my belief that a collection of these programs can really make a difference.”
—University Faculty Member

“I think we should have a national office or a national organization that will allow the various Institutes to retain the same core values and original mission of the Yale-New Haven Institute as a unifying theme.”
—School Teacher
to the top of the Common Work of the Five Teachers Institutes | to the top of the National Demonstration Project
The Work of the Four New Teachers Institutes

Throughout this year, as last year, the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute has been working with the four new Institutes in a variety of ways. Patricia Lydon, Liaison to the sites, has been monitoring and advising on budgetary and organizational matters. Director Vivian has been responsive to many questions and difficulties of a more wide-ranging character. Contacts have continued between teachers and faculty members on the Implementation Team with their counterparts at various sites. Site visits have provided first-hand information from university and school administrators as well as teachers and faculty members. And the annual narrative and financial reports of the four new Institutes have set forth their challenges and accomplishments during this second year of implementing the National Demonstration Project. In its third Annual Report to what is now the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds, the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute has described its monitoring and technical assistance in considerable detail. Here we offer a condensed account of the continuing experiences of the new Institutes.

Pittsburgh Teachers Institute: This Institute, bringing the resources of Chatham College and Carnegie Mellon University to a selected portion of a school district that now has 95 schools serving 39,000 students, began working with 20 elementary, middle, and high schools, representing the three regions of the district. In 2001 it reached out to several other schools, and in 2002 it intends to open its program yet more widely across the School District. The Director, Helen Faison, an experienced teacher and school administrator and former chair of the Education Department at Chatham College, had been relieved of her duties from July 1999 until June 2000 in order to assume the position of interim-Superintendent of Schools in Pittsburgh. During that period John Groch, Assistant Professor of Communications at Chatham College, served as Acting Director. Helen Faison, who stayed in close touch with Institute matters and who retains the title of Distinguished Professor of Education at Chatham College, has now returned to the directorship.

Despite a number of administrative changes at both of the sponsoring institutions of higher education and the Pittsburgh Public Schools, their support of the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute has not lessened. In 2001, the Institute offered eight seminars, one of which was cancelled because of insufficient enrollment. Thirty-six Fellows completed curriculum units for the following seven seminars: “Media Revolutions” (James Davidson, Adjunct Professor of English, Carnegie Mellon University); “Pittsburgh’s Environmental History” (Steffi Domike, Visiting Professor of Art, Chatham College); “Contemporary Latin America: Culture and Civilization” (Karen S. Goldman, Associate Professor of Spanish, Chatham College); “Kitchen Chemistry” (John Hagen, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Chatham College); “The Math Connection” (Richard Holman, Professor of Physics, Carnegie Mellon University); “The Twenties (The Lost Generation)” (Alan Kennedy, Professor of English, Carnegie Mellon University); “Diversity and Resistance” (Janet Stocks, Director, Undergraduate Research Initiative, Carnegie Mellon University).

There continues to be an effort to relate the curriculum units explicitly to the national, state, and local standards that all Pittsburgh Public School curricula must meet. To be eligible for increment credit from the Pittsburgh Public Schools a unit was required to meet some or all of the student achievement standards that have been established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pittsburgh Public Schools for the content area in which it will be taught. The Fellows found the Fellows’ Handbook, which had been revised by a subcommittee of the Steering Committee, to be helpful in preparing their units. Indeed, the curriculum units written in Pittsburgh now indicate one way in which, without limiting intellectual diversity or creativity, the format of a unit can be usefully standardized. Instead of a single narrative, most of the units now divide the sustained prose into titled subsections: Overview, Rationale, Objectives, and Strategies—followed by Narrative or Classroom Activities. Most units also include the relevant district standards in an appendix.

A College/University Advisory Council provides advice to the Director. Among the issues it is discussing are whatever modifications need to be made in the Institute after the demonstration period if the Institute is to become institutionalized. There also now exists a Chatham College Faculty Advisory Council, formed by President Esther Barazzone of Chatham College.

There continues to be a vigorous core of teacher-leaders. The school representatives who constitute the Steering Committee exercise, with minimal direction from the Director, most of the responsibility for Institute-sponsored activities. They will function as a committee of the whole for the recruitment of Fellows for the 2002 seminars. Eager to continue the Institute beyond the expiration of the original grant, they will assist the Director in recruiting new schools into participation, assist in the distribution of Institute literature, and accompany the Director on visits to schools and to meetings as necessary.

Faculty members from both of the sponsoring institutions of higher education have begun to accept the Institute as an extension of their campuses and as a means by which to meet the outreach mission of their institutions. During the Fall 2001 term, a Carnegie University Professor in the English Department assigned one of the students in her class to the Institute as an intern. A professor of Sociology at Carnegie Mellon has included the Institute in a recent proposal submitted to a local foundation. As a result of her experience as a seminar leader, she became interested in obtaining support for an activity to involve students enrolled in her classes being taught by Fellows enrolled in her seminars. The retention rate of seminar leaders, two of whom from Carnegie Mellon have led seminars for three years in succession, is further evidence of the high regard with which the Institute is held by those faculty members who have been directly involved.

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Doris Z. Braun's students at the Mifflin School in Pittsburgh studying her curriculum unit on "Revisiting the Fabulous 50's."

Although the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers is not a sponsor of the Institute, its officers and members continue to support the project. The union makes its facilities available for large group sessions of the Institute and adjusts its own schedule of research and development programs to accommodate the Institute’s seminar schedule whenever possible to reduce the number of schedule conflicts facing teachers who wish to participate in the seminars.

Steps had been taken in 2000 to restore the number of participating schools to the original number approved in the implementation grant. In 2001 the Director began conferring with principals about the Institute’s desire to open its seminars to schools citywide.





There continues to be an effort to relate the curriculum units explicitly to the national, state, and local standards that all Pittsburgh Public School curricula must meet.










Faculty members from both of the sponsoring institutions of higher education have begun to accept the Institute as an extension of their campuses and as a means by which to meet the outreach mission of their institutions.




In developing the seminars for 2002, the Institute can now count on funds to support three seminars in which the School District has a special interest, limited to teachers of a specific subject. One in middle grade science and one in secondary school mini-courses in mathematics are being funded by a local foundation whose three-year grant will support all expenses except stipends for the teachers. The School district will provide the stipends from its National Science Foundation grant. The third seminar is an American History seminar for teachers of 8th grade American History. Funds for this seminar, including stipends for the teachers, will be provided by the School District from a three-year grant by the United States Department of Education. (Both the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute and the Houston Teachers Institute were recipients of such a grant.) There is still a possibility that funds will become available to support a project on signage for students of Fellows who completed seminars offered in the past by a professor of sociology at Carnegie Mellon.

School Representatives and Contacts solicited their colleagues to develop a list of other topics in which teachers were interested. The tentative list for 2002 includes:

Funded Seminars for Specific Participants:

Learning Science through Doing Science (Middle School Science Teachers)
Developing Mathematics Mini-Courses (Secondary Mathematics Teachers)
Explanatoids: Signage to Seed Science Talk in Pittsburgh Public Places (primarily for Elementary and Middle School Teachers)
Immigration and American History (Teachers of 8th Grade History)

Teacher Choices, First Tier, as Funding and Interest Permit:

Comedy: From Aristophanes to the Present
Everyday Physics on the Athletic Field
Latin America and U. S. Popular Culture
Mythology, Fairy Tales, and Folklore in Children’s Literature
Survey of African-American History by Way of African-American Literature and Art

Teacher Choices, Second Tier, as Funding and Interest Permit:

Famous Figures in American History: Inventors and their Inventions
Genetics and DNA Identification

This Institute has become an approved provider of in-service courses for the district, and the public school community continues to think of it as a permanent opportunity that will be available to teachers in the Pittsburgh Public Schools. This desire leads to the need to find the support necessary to continue the Institute beyond the expiration of the Demonstration Project. In 2001 the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute continued to use funds from a grant of 1999 from the Grable Foundation; it also received a grant of $50,000 from the Heinz Foundation and a grant from the Pittsburgh Foundation of $196,000 for use in 2001-2003.



The public school community continues to think of it as a permanent opportunity that will be available to teachers in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Houston Teachers Institute: This Teachers Institute brings the resources of the University of Houston to the Houston Independent School District, where 280 schools serve 212,000 students. It began working with 20 self-selected middle and high schools enrolling 31,300 students to establish a program that will address the needs of an ethnically mixed student-body, a large proportion of whom are non-English speaking. It then expanded its scope to include five elementary schools close to the University of Houston and a range of other schools in the district, for a total of more than thirty schools. These schools have the same demographic characteristics as those in the initial target scope. First opportunity for enrollment was given to the teachers from the 20 schools that were originally targeted, before turning to applicants from other schools. Paul Cooke, who had been a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Houston, is the Director of this Institute.

In 2001 the Houston Teachers Institute accepted 75 Fellows from 27 schools into the five seminars it offered (a sixth seminar having been cancelled because of the illness of the seminar leader). Of those enrolled, 39 completed a curriculum unit. The seminars included: “Shakespeare Alive!” (Sidney Berger, Professor and Director, School of Theatre); “Multicultural Works: The Richness of the Drama of America” (Elizabeth Brown-Guillory, Professor of English and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences); “Figuring the Odds: Learning to Live with Life’s Uncertainty” (Michael Field, Professor of Mathematics); “Film and American Values over the Decades” (Cynthia Freeland, Professor of Philosophy); and “World Order: What Current Events Tell Us About World Politics” (Joseph Nogee, Professor of Political Science).

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Seminar Coordinators of the Houston Teachers Institute in 2001. (Clockwise from top left: Daniel Addis, Mary Ann Natunewicz, Marida LaBohne, Leonard Retiz, Josephine Hamilton.)

The Institute continues to rely upon a vigorous but small group of Teacher Representatives, who meet regularly to carry forward its work. The Director has arranged for Teacher Representatives to receive professional development credit for their involvement in the Institute. Ted Estess, Dean of the Honors College, and Sam Lasseter, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, as well as a core of committed faculty members are offering assistance. Both the University of Houston, which is now pledged to provide the Director’s salary, and the Houston Independent School District, which from the outset has been making a comparable financial contribution, are strong supporters of the Institute.

The Houston Teachers Institute has recognized its on-going problem of attrition and is seeking to remedy that by fuller explanations to prospective applicants of the work entailed by writing a curriculum unit, and by planning for 2002 two Curriculum Writing Workshops. The growth of its Teacher Representative team will also help by providing more assistance to new applicants.


The Institute continues to rely upon a vigorous but small group of Teacher Representatives, who meet regularly to carry forward its work.




On the basis of polling teachers and refining their suggestions, the Teacher Representative committee settled on some fifteen possible seminar topics or topic areas for 2002. The following seven seminars were finally listed: “Ethnic Music and Performing Arts in Houston” (Barbara Rose Lange, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, Moores School of Music); “Houston Architecture: Interpreting the City” (Stephen Fox, Lecturer in Architecture); “New Developments in Understanding the Human Body” (William R. Widger, Associate Professor of Biochemistry); “Reflections on a Few Good Books (Ross M. Lence, Associate Professor of Political Science); “Shakespeare’s Characters: The Lighter Side” (David C. Judkins, Associate Professor of English); “Sports Autobiographies: Mirrors of American Culture” (James Pipkin, Professor of English); and “Drinking Water: Finding It; Making It Clean; Using It Wisely” (Theodore Cleveland, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director, Environmental Engineering Program). For the first time, this Institute is offering two seminars in the natural sciences.

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Teacher Representatives of the Houston Teachers Institute. (Left to right: Daniel Addis, Bill J. Pisciella, Gwen Lindsay, Michael Olson, Richard Evans, Charles Sauter, Carrie Mitchell, Amber Mackel, Jorge Arredondo, Mary Jefferson, and Jurrell L. Gilliam.)

Director Cooke has been pursuing possibilities for funding in future years. In harmony with his emphasis on teacher leadership, he developed in collaboration with teachers, and with additional counsel from faculty members, a proposal to that end: “A Houston Teachers Institute Vision Paper: The Continua-tion of the Institute for a Second Three-Year Term, 2002-2004.” He proposes that the Houston Teachers Institute “remain true to the vision for school-university partnerships provided by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute” and “maintain connections to what will become a league of teacher institutes started through the effort to duplicate the Yale program.” The Houston Teachers Institute would seek to offer seven, eight, and nine seminars in the next three years. This plan also calls for increasing the number of schools involved with the Houston Teachers Institute to approximately 50. The Institute has already raised $627,150 to meet the cost of $965,346 for this next three-year period. This includes $80,000 from a grant of $150,000 in 200l from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, $50,000 from a grant of $150,000 in 2000 from the Houston Endowment, and $10,000 from a grant of $30,000 in 2000 from the Powell Foundation. It also includes approximately $160,000 from an award by the U. S. Department of Education for Project TEACH, jointly planned by the Institute and the Houston Independent School District, which will fund two seminars in the area of American history for each of these three years.

The Institute will also be requesting other kinds of funding but will emphasize “seminar sponsorship”—in effect expanding the kind of funding initiated by the grant from the U. S. Department of Education. It will ask potential supporters to undertake the funding of an Institute seminar at a cost of $25,000 per year.











The Director proposes that the Houston Institute “remain true to the vision for school-university partnerships provided by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute” and “maintain connections to what will become a league of teacher institutes started through the effort to duplicate the Yale program.”

Of this proposal Dean Ted Estess has written:

It is a strong proposal, well conceived, thoughtful, even provocative. From The Honors College here at the University of Houston, I can say that we hope very much that the proposal can be funded and enacted. The Houston Teachers Institute is already bearing good fruit in the Houston Independent School District and among faculty at the University of Houston. We want to build on that good foundation.

Albuquerque Teachers Institute: This Institute, bringing the resources of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New Mexico to a district that serves 85,800 students in 121 schools and enrolls a high percentage of Hispanic students from low-income families, had targeted 21 middle and high schools where the problem of a high attrition rate is most serious. Two new schools were added in 2000 to the service population: Sandia High School and the Career Enrichment Center. In coming years the Institute has expected to add elementary schools from within the clusters already served.

In 200l, the Albuquerque Teachers Institute offered eight seminars for 77 teachers (73 of whom completed a curriculum unit): “Gods, Heroes, Myths: The Legacy of Ancient Greece” (Monica S. Cyrino, Associate Professor of Classics and Chairperson, Foreign Languages and Literature); “When the Good Go Bad: Why Juveniles Become Delinquent” (Paul Steele, Associate Professor of Sociology); “Brach to Bach to Bohr: Physics and the Arts” (Colston Chandler, Professor of Physics and Astronomy); “Math and Reality—An Investigative Approach” (Adrianna Aceves, Lecturer in Mathematics and Statistics, and Cathy Gosler, Lecturer in Mathematics and Statistics); “Spirit of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo: Culture, Environment and Bioregionalism” (Enrique Lamadrid, Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese); “The South Valley, the Environment and Future Development” (Teresa Cordova, Associate Professor, School of Architecture and Planning); “Media Literacy: An Examination of the Effects of the Media on Youth” (Michael McDevitt, Assistant Professor of Communication and Journalism and Bob Gassaway, Associate Professor of Communication and Journalism); and “Science, Technology, and Society: Forces of Change” (Timothy Moy, Associate Professor of History).

Since July 2000, Doug Earick, who has been a science teacher in the Albuquerque Public Schools, has directed the Albuquerque Teachers Institute. The support of the University of Mexico continues to be strong, with $100,000 pledged for operating costs in 2002. The new Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Reed Dasenbrock, has put the Albuquerque Teachers Institute as one of his top priorities for funding support and will assign a new development program officer to the task of securing long-term funding. In January 2001 Brad Allison, Superintendent of the Albuquerque Public Schools, wrote: “With the hiring of a new Director of Professional Development, we anticipate a closer and stronger tie between ATI and the district’s overall teacher training model. . . . APS is interested in continued work with the ATI. As we examine all professional development opportunities in APS, we would like to expand participation in the ATI and focus the seminars on district priorities.” The district’s recent restructuring process, in which leadership and programs have been consolidated into new departments and much of the work now delegated to individual schools and clusters of schools, may provide the Institute with new opportunities for service and funding. Among other things, Virginia Durán-Ginn, the new co-director of Teaching and Learning Systems, has suggested the possibility of focusing the seminars on district probationary schools, or “Superintendent Schools,” each of which has about $50,000 set aside for professional development.

The Institute continues to experiment with schedules that may meet the desires of the teachers and also provide adequate opportunity for reading and writing within the seminar period. Because of complaints that the compressed schedule makes it difficult to do the seminar reading and write a substantial curriculum unit, and also makes it difficult for Fellows to share their writing-in-progress, in 2000 the seminars were extended from three to four weeks. The Institute offered one seminar in 2001 that ran from March to May, primarily for teachers from Rio Grande High School. This experiment had only mixed success, but other options may be tried in the future. Because of the substantial attrition in 2000 between the admission of Fellows to the beginning of the seminars, there was a greater emphasis in 2001 to make certain that teachers understood the time and work commitment in advance of application. The increased rate of completion suggests that this effort has been successful. The Institute continues to focus on the difficulty of recruiting teachers into science seminars.



The new Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Reed Dasenbrock, has put the Albuquerque Teachers Institute as one of his top priorities for funding support and will assign a new development program officer to the task of securing long-term funding.

After surveying teachers about the topics in which they would be interested, the Teacher Steering Committee developed a rough list of seminar ideas for 2002. They include: Fairy Tales; Crime and Punishment: Criminal Justice in the American Legal System; Bioethics; Holy Wars: The Politics of War; Albuquerque: Its History, Its Culture; The Story of English: The Origins of the English Language; the History of Mathematics; New World Economics: The Global Economy; American in Music: Our Musical Heritage; Shakespeare; World Literature; and Fear in the Media. The final list of eight topics will depend largely on seminar leaders who can be recruited.

The Albuquerque Teachers Institute has received a grant of $150,000 from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations for 2000-2002, a grant of $42,460 from the New Mexico Collaborative for Excellence in Teacher Preparation for 2001-2002, and an Eisenhower Grant from the New Mexico Commission on Higher Education of $35,424 that will provide major support for two seminars in 2002 in science and mathematics. The Director is also seeking support from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Other funding may come in new collaborations between the district and the university in developing joint projects.

UCI-Santa Ana Teachers Institute: To Santa Ana, a city with 51 schools now serving over 60,000 students, a majority of whom have only a limited knowledge of English, the UCI-Santa Ana Teachers Institute has brought the resources of the nearby University of California at Irvine. The University has long worked with school systems in several neighboring districts, recently through its Center for Educational Partnerships. The UCI-Santa Ana Teachers Institute focused initially on a selected 26 elementary, middle, and high schools, representing all four areas of the Santa Ana system. The Director of this Institute is Barbara Kuhn Al-Bayati, who was formerly the Partnership Liaison in the Center for Educational Partnerships at the University.

The Institute has an opportunity to show that curriculum units work well in a mainly Hispanic environment where most students have limited fluency in English. This is of special importance because the California systems of education face serious problems as a result of the discontinuance of bilingual education in the schools and affirmative action admissions to higher education. The legislature has therefore provided the state universities additional funds to work on outreach. Most recently, however, it has appeared that some of these funds may be in jeopardy because of the energy crisis in the state.



The UCI-Santa Ana Teachers Institute focused initially on a selected 26 elementary, middle, and high schools, representing all four areas of the Santa Ana system.

In 2001 the UCI-Santa Ana Teachers Institute offered ten seminars—four more than this Institute had proposed for inclusion in its budget. Sixty-five teachers from the Santa Ana Unified School District applied and were admitted. There was some immediate attrition, resulting in an initial enrollment of 58 Fellows in the ten seminars. Because of anticipated under-enrollment from the target group of schools in the Santa Ana Unified School District, the Director decided to open the seminars to all Santa Ana teachers. Only one Santa Ana school not previously involved was gained and retained. The Director then decided to open the seminars to teachers from schools outside of the Santa Ana Unified School District. This was a departure from the approach of the National Demonstration Project, which cannot support expenses pertaining to people not part of the Teachers Institute partnership. James Vivian therefore ruled that only those Fellows from the Santa Ana Unified School District, and only the budgetary expenses pertaining to them, could be supported by the Project. The Santa Ana enrollment (62 Fellows) constituted about two-thirds of the enrollment (92 Fellows) in the ten seminars. At the end of the seminar process, 39 of the 62 Santa Ana Fellows completed a total of 42 units. (Three Fellows were taking two seminars each.)

The six seminars supported by the National Demonstration Project were: “Music as Expressive Culture” (Robert Garfias, Professor of Anthropology); “Literature, History, Gender: Ancient Civilizations and their Afterlives” (Jane O. Newman, Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of the Program in Comparative Literature); “Law and Justice at the Millennium” (John Dombrink, Professor of Criminology, Law and Society, and Mark Petracca, Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science); Non-Canonical Writers from Mexico and Latin America (Jacobo Sefami, Associate Professor and Chair of Spanish and Portuguese); “Introduction to Bioethics” (Salme Taagepera, Lecturer and Academic Coordinator in Developmental and Cell Biology); and “The Natural History of Orange County” (Peter Bryant, Professor of Developmental and Cell Biology and Director, Developmental Biology Center). The four seminars not supported by the National Demonstration Project, which included some Fellows who were so supported, were: “Identity and Community: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Humanities” (John H. Smith, Professor of German and Director of the Humanities Center); “What Are the Chances? Probability and Statistics in Everyday Life” (Amelia Regan, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering); “The Hardy Personality in Theory, Research, and Practice (Salvatore Maddi, Professor of Psychology and Social Behavior, and Deborah Koshaba, Lecturer in Psychology and Social Behavior, and Director of Program Development and Training, the Hardiness Institute); and “Homer’s Odyssey” (Julia Lupton, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of Humanities Out There).

As at other Institutes, there has been here an increasing emphasis upon explicit linking of the curriculum units to State standards. But unlike other Institutes, this Institute has also placed an emphasis upon preparing students for matriculation at one of the State institutions. This is in accord with an aim of the Center for Educational Partnerships, with which the Institute retains very close links. The Institute intends to track from this point of view the progress of students in classes whose teachers have participated in the program.

The Institute has a committed group of seminar leaders and Coordinators, and a small group of teachers has also given advice and support to the Director. The faculty leadership is potentially very strong, and there has been administrative support in the University and the School District at the highest level. Former Vice Chancellor William Lillyman (who then became Advisor to the Chancellor) had stated that there should be no problem in obtaining necessary financial support from the University for this Teachers Institute over the long term. Superintendent Al Mijares of the Santa Ana Unified School District had also expressed great enthusiasm for the Institute. And both Lillyman and Assistant Vice Chancellor Juan Lara have spoken of the possibility of later expansion through the university system of California.

The UCI-Santa Ana Teachers Institute has decided, however, that, on completion of the grant for the current partnership between the University of California at Irvine and the Santa Ana Unified School District, it will become in 2002 “The UCI Teachers Institute,” which will bring together UCI faculty and teachers from ten high schools in five school districts. This new initiative will increasingly focus on the articulation of college preparatory courses with University of California courses. This has for some time been, in fact, an aim of the Center for Educational Partnerships at the University. For 2002 the UCI Teachers Institute plans to offer some seminars according to the schedule established by the UCI-Santa Ana Teachers Institute; then, in the fall, it will begin a second set of seminars that will follow more or less an academic year schedule. The plan, as thus far outlined, centers in the University and does not constitute an actual partnership with any of the five districts being served.


The faculty leadership is potentially very strong, and there has been administrative support in the University and the School District at the highest level.




to the top of the Work of the Four New Teachers Institutes | to the top of the National Demonstration Project
National Accomplishments

The Annual Report for 1998 had given an account of the distinctive pattern of needs and resources at each of the four new Teachers Institutes. Each is at a somewhat different stage of development; and each in certain ways may serve as a model for the establishment of Teachers Institutes elsewhere in the United States. The Institutes also illustrate different patterns of relationship to state mandates, local resources, and institutional apparatus—and the state-funded universities will be especially interesting in this regard. Each site has also gone through a distinctive process in arranging for a director. The Annual Reports for 1999, 2000, and 2001 have updated the progress at each of these Institutes, noting some of the major challenges and accomplishments at each.

Here we summarize briefly the most important accomplishments of the National Demonstration Project as a whole and note some of their implications. After three years of implementation, the National Demonstration Project has demonstrated in four different cities larger than New Haven

1) that a Teachers Institute serving approximately 20 schools at the outset can be rapidly inaugurated, can be sustained, and can begin to grow;

2) that it can sustain at the outset a program of 4-6 content-based seminars in the humanities and sciences, which increase teachers’ knowledge, heighten their morale, and result in individually crafted curriculum units of substance for use in classrooms;

3) that such Institutes can arouse the enthusiasm and support of significant numbers of teachers and university faculty members;

4) that the experiences of those teachers and university faculty members, and the personal and professional rewards they cite, will resemble those in New Haven;

5) that such Institutes can also attract support, and pledges of continuing support, from administrators of a private liberal arts college, a private university emphasizing the sciences, an urban state-supported university, a flagship state university, and a major state university in a larger system;

6) that high-level administrators in school districts, superintendents or their immediate subordinates, can be attracted by the idea of such an Institute, will think about the local means of achieving a systemic impact, and will seek ways to ensure its long-term support;

7) that new Teachers Institutes will be able to sustain themselves in some form after the initial Grant;

8) that they will declare their intention to apply for Grants for Research and Planning in the Preparation Phase of the continuing Yale National Initiative;

9) and that the strategies employed in establishing the National Demonstration Project, including National Seminars and observation of local seminars in New Haven, are admirably suited for the process of further disseminating the Yale-New Haven model and establishing a nation-wide network of Teachers Institutes.

We therefore believe that the National Demonstration Project has shown the importance of the principles upon which these Institutes are based. It has provided the foundation for the expansion of some Teachers Institutes and the establishment of yet others in cities across the nation. And it has shown that such Teachers Institutes can make a substantial contribution to the most important kind of school reform in this nation—the improvement of teaching itself.

With regard to the prospects for continuity and sustainability beyond the terms of the Grant, the signs are optimistic indeed. At all four sites, many teachers who have been Fellows are becoming enthusiastic recruiters of new Fellows. Substantial groups of faculty members are learning the importance of Institute procedures and are assisting in the operation of the Institutes. At all four sites, top-level administrators in institutions of higher education had pledged to assist in the seeking of funds. At three sites they had pledged university financial support in addition. At three sites, school districts have made a substantial financial commitment. And at two sites, school administrators are providing significant help in the seeking of additional funds.

All four Teachers Institutes have declared their intention to apply for Grants for Research and Planning in the Preparation Phase of the continuing Yale National Initiative. As outlined below (“The Continuing National Initiative”) these Grants will support research into the results of Institute participation on teachers, their students, and schools in the school district that is a partner in establishing it, and planning for an Institute to attain a systemic impact in that school district.

The very stiff requirements of cost-sharing for the Grants under the National Demonstration Project were met in part through the help of district funds but in a variety of ways. At UCI-Santa Ana the University has been the major contributor; at Albuquerque the contributions of University and district were for a time roughly equal; at Houston the district has been of primary assistance; and at Pittsburgh outside funding has been of greatest importance.

At each Teachers Institute certain seminars have emphasized local history, literature, geography, architecture, ecology, or economics. All four Teachers Institutes have also paid close attention to the mandates, standards, and interests of local school districts and state educational systems. In Pittsburgh there has been a special effort to see that both seminars and curriculum units are in accord with the district academic standards. And Directors and Fellows at the other Teachers Institutes have increasingly emphasized the desirability of making explicit the ways in which each curriculum unit relates to district standards.

The prospects for longer-term scaling-up look very good at this point, and the four new Teachers Institutes have already pointed toward some ways in which this might be accomplished. In Pittsburgh, two institutions of higher education have established a consortium that can serve as a model for expansion elsewhere. In Albuquerque and Irvine-Santa Ana, top-level administrators have been thinking in different ways about expansion in other districts and elsewhere in the state. Rod Paige, Secretary of Education and formerly Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, has noted that scaling-up within an urban area need not mean simply an increase in the number of seminars; it might be accomplished through various ways of assisting more fully the priorities of the district. The continuing National Initiative of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute calls for a two-year Preparation Phase during which newly established Institutes can assess their accomplishments and determine the most appropriate ways of scaling-up within their districts, regions, and states.

The dialogue among sites across the nation has been an important objective of the National Demonstration Project, and will continue to be so in the Yale National Initiative. The increasing collaboration evident in the First, Second, and Third Annual Conferences, and the establishment of web sites, indicate that this is also an important area of national accomplishment. University and school officials, not only teachers and faculty members, want ongoing opportunities to work together and to learn from each other.

The Yale National Initiative will take advantage of the substantial momentum established by the National Demonstration Project, as it invites Institutes now to work more closely as the nucleus of a nationwide network of Teachers Institutes. The interest shown in the Request for Proposals for Research and Planning for the Preparation Phase of the National Initiative during 2002-2003 has been very heartening. In December 2001 all four of the newly established Teachers Institutes indicated their intention to apply for Grants for Research and Planning in the Preparatory Phase of the Yale National Initiative.


The National Demonstration Project has shown the importance of the principles upon which these Institutes are based. And it has shown that such Teachers Institutes can make a substantial contribution to the most important kind of school reform in this nation—the improvement of teaching itself.




















The prospects for longer-term scaling-up look very good at this point, and the four new Teachers Institutes have already pointed toward some ways in which this might be accomplished.










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Learning in New Haven

We noted in the Annual Reports of 1998, 1999, and 2000 that we have become increasingly convinced of the necessity of direct observation and participation in the process of getting acquainted with the principles and practices of the Teachers Institute. We also noted that New Haven teachers and Yale University faculty members have been learning as individuals, gaining among other things a heightened sense of being part of a national community of concerned educators. The Third Annual Conference gave us as a group and as individuals a yet clearer sense of participating in a far-reaching collaborative endeavor.

We continue to recognize the need for some revisions in the Request for Proposals that will be made in connection with Implementation Grants for additional Institutes in the continuing Yale National Initiative. We have come to appreciate more fully that the major elements of the Institute approach are intricately intertwined and that they all seem necessary. Sites should probably be asked to adopt more of the structures for teacher leadership and faculty influence that we have developed in New Haven. This might include requirements for a body of Teacher Representatives, suggested schedule of meetings, the nature of the canvassing of teachers for seminar topics, and the establishment of a faculty advisory council. We may also have to spell out more fully the responsibilities and functions of the Director of an Institute, and the minimum length for the “long-term” seminars. At the same time, we think it might be well to indicate more specifically the areas in which local variations would be possible and perhaps advantageous.

In confronting transitions at several Teachers Institutes, we developed procedures that should be followed in naming a new Director. These procedures essentially mirror those that would be followed in New Haven, as set forth in our Policies and Procedures. We would require that teacher and faculty groups play a key role in identifying, interviewing, and selecting a new Director. This would be an open process that is advertised in some fashion. And the selection would ultimately have to be made by the individuals (President and Superintendent) to whom the Director must report.





We have come to appreciate more fully that the major elements of the Institute approach are intricately intertwined and that they all seem necessary.

We also discovered that we had needlessly limited the target scope of a new Institute and should provide more flexible guidelines here that permit expansion as necessary. And we realized more fully that the appropriate strategies for attaining systemic impact at the various demonstration sites may well differ from those in New Haven. We continue to believe, however, that the Centers for Curriculum and Professional Development in New Haven may suggest a useful starting point for efforts in other Institutes to have an influence beyond the seminars themselves. We are heartened by the interest that has been shown in them by certain of the newly established Institutes.

Finally, we believe that we must devise additional ways to bring Directors, teachers, and faculty members into a working understanding of Institute procedures over the longer term. Despite the success of our orientation sessions and our July Intensives, we need yet other ways of reaching those who enter into an Institute’s activity after its inauguration, and we think that this need is especially apparent in the case of the expanding pools of faculty members.

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On Common Ground

With support in part from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Institute had published Number 8 (Winter 1998) of its periodical, On Common Ground, which has a national circulation to policy-makers, educational leaders, and funders. This issue took stock of the entire movement of university-school partnerships over the past fifteen years. The Editorial surveyed the four years of publication of this periodical, noting the high points in each Number, and making clear the scope and sequence that had been planned and supervised by the Editorial Board. It summarized the Institute’s year of planning for the National Demonstration Project, and it concluded that On Common Ground has great potential as a means of disseminating the results of that Project to a wider readership of those interested in university-school partnership.

Although funds for the continuation of On Common Ground are still being sought, the Institute was able to publish a special issue—Number 9—in Fall 2001. This special issue dealt with the National Demonstration Project and the promise of this kind of work for the future. Leading off with a piece by the U.S. Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, it included articles from university, college, and school administrators, university faculty, school teachers, Institute directors, and a funder. (Contribution of such articles from the new Teachers Institutes had been specified in the Request for Proposals.)

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National Advisory Committee meeting with university and school officials from the demonstration sites, November 2000. (Left to right: Rogers M. Smith, Richard Ekman, Sam Lasseter, and Rod Paige.)

The college and university administrators contributing to the issue included Esther L. Barazzone, President of Chatham College; William C. Gordon, President of the University of New Mexico; Arthur K. Smith, Chancellor of the University of Houston System and President of the University of Houston; and Michael Fischer, former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New Mexico, now the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Trinity University in San Antonio. University and college faculty members included Elisabeth Roark of Chatham College, Kate Krause of the University of New Mexico, John H. Smith of the University of California at Irvine, and Rogers M. Smith, formerly of Yale University and now at the University of Pennsylvania. The school teachers included Daniel Addis of the Houston Independent School District, Mel Sanchez of the Santa Ana Unified School District, and Jean Sutherland of the New Haven Public Schools. The article by a funder was provided by Owen M. Lopez, Executive Director of the McCune Charitable Foundation. And two directors—Helen Faison of the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute and Paul D. Cooke of the Houston Teachers Institute—provided their perspectives. In sum, this issue laid out all aspects of the process of establishing and maintaining a Teachers Institute, and it made clear in great detail the benefits of such Institutes, as perceived and experienced by the participants.


This special issue dealt with the National Demonstration Project and the promise of this kind of work for the future.







Secretary Paige led off by asking: “Does America know how to teach?” He was struck by the fact that in our major cities “world-class colleges and universities” are “sharing neighborhoods with many of our most dangerous and under-performing schools.” He therefore challenged more colleges and universities to establish partnerships with school districts. “They can help teachers develop curricula,” he said, “offer schools access to their facilities, and help mismanaged schools improve their management.”

Secretary Paige spoke from his experience as Dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University and as the Superintendent of Schools I the Houston Independent School District during the time when the Houston Teachers Institute was being established. In concluding he said:

I applaud the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute for supplying models for what universities should do. Its projects are not just inspiring, they are creating an environment in which partnerships will be the norm, not the exception. Every great university should be linked to its surrounding schools by a thriving and many-tiered partnership. Observers should not ask why a few universities have partnerships, but why the rest do not.


“I applaud the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute for supplying models for what universities should do. Its projects are not just inspiring, they are creating an environment in which partnerships will be the norm, not the exception.”
—Rod Paige
U.S. Secretary of Education

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National Advisory Groups

National Steering Committee

The National Steering Committee, formed on the model of the Steering Committee that helps to guide the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, has been composed of one school teacher from each site participating in the National Demonstration Project. Members of the National Steering Committee have been selected by the Director of the National Demonstration Project for a one-year term from January through December. They have been teachers prepared to help guide the project, to help plan the conferences, and to suggest topics most in need of discussion. They have provided and received other advice and information, and have helped to ensure that teachers were playing a leading role in the demonstrations and in the common work. They have also provided feedback on the usefulness of each meeting and have furthered the communication among the sites. It has been required that a Steering Committee member be—and intend to continue as—a teacher in one of the public schools participating in the National Demonstration Project. In separate and joint meetings with the National University Advisory Council, they have provided a forum in which shared opportunities and problems could be discussed to the mutual benefit of all.

By agreeing to serve as a National Steering Committee member, a teacher accepted the following responsibilities. Each member:

1. Exerts leadership and participates actively in one or more of the major endeavors at a demonstration site.

2. Participates as an Institute Fellow in the seminar offerings at that site in the year during service as a National Steering Committee Member.

3. Attends and comes prepared to meetings of the National Steering Committee.

4. Participates actively in the functions of the National Steering Committee.

Members of the Steering Committee for 2001 included Carol Petett of the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute, Dan Addis of the Houston Teachers Institute, Blake Learmonth of the Albuquerque Teachers Institute, and Mel Sanchez of the UCI-Santa Ana Teachers Institute. As described earlier, during 2001 the Committee met in May to discuss the design of the survey on curriculum units. It also agreed upon a plan for the members to communicate via e-mail and conduct monthly virtual meetings via Yahoo Messenger. And, with Helen Faison, Director of the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute, as representative of the Directors, it joined with the University Advisory Council to plan the agenda for the Third Annual Conference in October.

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National University Advisory Council

The National University Advisory Council, formed on the model of the University Advisory Council that helps to guide the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, has been composed of one university faculty member from each site participating in the National Demonstration Project. The members of the National University Advisory Council are selected by the Director of the National Demonstration Project for a one-year term from January through December. They have been faculty members prepared to help guide the general direction of the project, to help plan the conferences, and to suggest topics most in need of discussion. They have provided and received other advice and information, and helped ensure that university faculty members play a leading role in the demonstrations and in the common work. They have also provided feedback on the usefulness of each meeting and furthered the communication among the sites. In separate and joint meetings with the National Steering Committee of teachers, they have provided a forum in which shared opportunities and problems can be discussed to the mutual benefit of all.

By agreeing to serve on the National University Advisory Council, a faculty member accepted the following responsibilities. Each member:

1. Exerts leadership and serves as an advisor at a demonstration site.

2. Attends and comes prepared to meetings of the national University Advisory Council in New Haven.

3. Participates actively in the functions of the National University Advisory Council.

Members of the National University Advisory Council for 2001 included James Davidson of the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute, Cynthia Freeland of the Houston Teachers Institute, Kate Krause of the Albuquerque Teachers Institute, and Thelma Foote of the UCI-Santa Ana Teachers Institute.

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National University Advisory Council meeting in Chicago, May 2001. (Clockwise from left: Cynthia A. Freeland, Houston; James Davidson, Pittsburgh; Kate S. Krause, Albuquerque; Rogers M. Smith, New Haven; and Thelma W. Foote, Santa Ana.)

As described earlier, during 2001 this Advisory Council (joined by Rogers Smith of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute) met in May to discuss the progress made in establishing faculty councils at each Institute and to explore further means for strengthening communication among seminar leaders from all Institutes. It also met with the National Steering Committee to plan the agenda for the Third Annual Conference.

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National Program Documentation and Evaluation

Internal Documentation and Evaluation

Extensive and complex processes of evaluation, with elaborate questionnaires for Fellows and seminar leaders, have always been included within the procedures of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. Such evaluation has been extremely important in persuading funders, the University, and others of the value of this effort. It has also been important as a continual self-monitoring that helps the Teachers Institute to chart its course into the future. For these reasons the National Demonstration Project requires that each of the new Teachers Institutes engage in very similar kinds of internal evaluation. Each is committed to undertaking at its own cost, in cooperation with the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, an annual review of the progress of the project. Each partnership assumes responsibility for a continuing self-evaluation.

The internal documentation and evaluation at each site become part of a more comprehensive evaluation undertaken by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute and embodied in its annual and final reports to the DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund (now the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds). The four new Teachers Institutes provide Institute staff, the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute Implementation Team, and other documenters sent by that Institute with full access to their activities and their documentation, including school and university personnel and sites. Each Teachers Institute submits interim financial reports, annual narrative and financial reports, and a final narrative and financial report. The contracts with the several sites, which have been summarized in our Annual Report for 1999 and in the Brochure for the National Demonstration Project, spell out in detail the necessary contents of these reports.

The first report from each Institute, for 1999, explained how the new Institute is addressing certain concerns that were noted on the occasion of the awarding of the Grant. It also described the scope, the strategy, and the demonstration goals of the new Teachers Institute. It explained the process by which it has been established and maintained, the ways that it has adapted the New Haven approach, its current activities, and the progress made toward the specific goals of the site’s demonstration. The reports for 2000 and 2001 include continuing description of the Institute’s activities and progress. Each report also contains a summary of the accomplishments and impact of the demonstration thus far, the impediments encountered, the unanticipated outcomes, and the lessons learned.

These annual reports have been designed to have great usefulness for each of the demonstration sites in their local management, planning, and fund-raising. They have provided information for our own Annual Reports and for the annually revised Brochure for the National Demonstration Project. They have informed us in our daily work with the new Institutes by alerting us to significant accomplishments, issues to be faced, and the need for special visits. These reports have regularly provided background for our annual site visits, which focus (with varying emphasis from year to year) upon all aspects of the operation of the new Teachers Institutes, including their administration, their funding, their development of teacher leadership, their planning and carrying out of the seminar program, and the writing of the curriculum units.

The information gleaned from this documentation has also been used for annual conferences and directors’ meetings, which provide continuing conversation among the sites and enable comparison and revision of the demonstrations in progress. And it has informed the dissemination by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute of the results of the project.










The internal documentation and evaluation at each site become part of a more comprehensive evaluation undertaken by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute.







These annual reports have been designed to have great usefulness for each of the demonstration sites in their local management, planning, and fund-raising.

The contracts with the partnerships sponsoring the new Institutes specify that, at least once during the grant period, a report will include a survey of the use of curriculum units by Fellows and non-Fellows in the school system. It was agreed at the directors’ meeting in 2001 that this survey would take place in 2001-2002 and would be included in the final narrative reports. Those reports, due on 28 February 2002, will summarize the three-year demonstration in terms of the items covered by the annual narrative reports and will then answer the following questions:

1. What do you think are the most important outcomes, impacts, and lessons learned from this project?

2. How has it changed the way in which your institution or other institutions may address these issues?

3. What plans do you have for continuing the partnership at your site?

Are there any other observations or reflections that you would now like to make about your partnership’s work under this grant?

4. The information contained in these annual and final reports has been transmitted with the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute’s annual and final reports to the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds. Those reports by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute have provided its own supplementary interpretation and assessment of the National Demonstration Project in accord with the criteria specified in the awarding of the Implementation Grants.

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External Evaluation

The DeWitt Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund contracted with Policy Studies Associates, a research and social policy firm based in Washington, D.C., to evaluate the National Demonstration Project. The evaluation has been examining the implementation of Teachers Institutes participating in the project from 1999-2002. This evaluation is described in the Annual Report of 1999 and in the Brochure for the National Demonstration Project.

The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute and the Institutes established at the partnership sites have been cooperating fully with this assessment of the National Demonstration Project by Policy Studies Associates. The new Teachers Institutes have provided the evaluators from Policy Study Associates with full access to their activities and their documentation, including school and university personnel and sites. Policy Studies Associates has made annual site visits to the new Institutes, and is providing reports on those visits to those Institutes and to the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. This external evaluation is not being used for grant-monitoring purposes, which are entirely in the province of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. The external evaluation will complement the information-gathering activities of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, and will use and incorporate the information that this Institute collects.

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