Principal Recognition Accorded to the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute


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1980

The Rockefeller Commission on the Humanities cited the Institute as a promising model of university-school collaboration that "integrates curriculum development with intellectual renewal for teachers."

1982

The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded the Teachers Institute a grant for the dissemination of its model nationally, and revised NEH guidelines to encourage other communities to develop similar programs.

1983

The College Board asked the Institute to join the Educational EQuality Project's Models Program to serve as a resource for other institutions and schools.

1984

The American Association for Higher Education, Council of Chief State School Officers, National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching singled out the Institute as a "pioneering and nationally significant program with an exemplary approach for improving public education." This recognition was accorded at the AAHE 1984 National Conference on Higher Education.

The Teachers Institute received the 1984 Grand Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education as one of the best collaborative programs in the nation.

1985

The U.S. Department of Education cited the Teachers Institute as "exemplary" and "among the most substantial and effective" university-school partnerships in the nation.

The Teachers Institute was invited to present its program at the second National Symposium on Private Sector Initiatives, sponsored by the White House.

The Institute was invited to make a presentation at the National Capital Quest Conference of the American Federation of Teachers.

The book describing the Institute, Teaching in America: The Common Ground, was republished by the College Board and widely advertised and distributed through them.

The Institute Director presented testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Education, Arts, and Humanities. The Committee was considering legislation that would authorize a major national program of teachers institutes in the humanities in all the states. The sponsors of the legislation singled out the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute as a most successful example of precisely the kind of program they envisioned the legislation would establish in many communities across the country.

1988

In their report, An Imperiled Generation; Saving Urban Schools, the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recommended that "colleges should have summer and year-long institutes, following the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute model which asks the teachers themselves to shape the content of the program."

1989

In testimony before U.S. Senate and House committees Ernest L. Boyer, President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, recommended the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute as a model for istitutes to be established across the country.

1990

In a speech at the AAHE-sponsored National Conference on School-College Collaboration, Donald M. Stewart, President of the College Board, said: "As we look to future support of collaborative programs, we believe, in the spirit of [Institute Director] Jim Vivian, that America's efforts at educational change must begin in the classroom. Educational reform means enlarging the capacity of more young people to learn and achieve. A key to this goal lies in the quality of the relationships of teachers and students in schools. This relationship, in turn, is very dependent on the teachers' effectiveness as a teacher, on the quality of instruction, on the knowledge and skills he or she brings to the classroom."

Commenting on the Institute's initiative to establish an endowment, Ernest L. Boyer said: "This is an enormously important program that brings the resources of the University to teachers in the schools in a way that recognizes their own professional stature. The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is leading the way to improve teaching and education."

Also on the occasion of the announcement of the Institute's endowment initiative, Gordon M. Ambach, the Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, said: "The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is one of the most effective school-university partnerships in America. This partnership has direct impact in the classroom with school and university faculty members working together to strengthen student learning. I am delighted the Institute has support to be a permanent part of the University, and congratulate both New Haven and Yale."

Theodore R. Sizer, Chairman of the Coalition of Essential Schools and of the Education Department at Brown University, said: "The permanent endowment of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is a notable achievement for Yale and for the City of New Haven. The Institute not only signals the university's commitment to its immediate community, but also powerfully represents the unity of academic interest among those who teach in the university and those who work with younger folk. The Institute was one of the first school-university partnerships, and its permanence gives a new target for those who follow on to reach."

1992

The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute was honored as one of the nation's leading school-reform alliances by the Business-Higher Education Forum, a Washington-based organization of corporate and academic chief executives sponsored by the American Council on Education (ACE). ACE President Robert H. Atwell stated that projects like the Institute "illustrate the best hope of the education reform movement in the United States. By bringing together all major sectors of the community and focusing their efforts on disadvantaged minority students, it shows that dramatic educational improvements are possible. Equally important, it emphasizes the continuity of the educational system, from elementary through higher education, demonstrating to disadvantaged students that the doors to eduactional and economic opportunity remain open."

1995

When the Institute completed endowment challenge grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the DeWitt Wallace-Readers Digest Fund, educators and others commented on the significance of the permanent endowment of the Institute as a unit of Yale University.

Gordon M. Ambach, Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, said: "The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is one of our nation's most effective school-university partnerships to improve student achievement. This partnership produces a direct impact in the classrooms with school and university faculty working together to strengthen student learning. I am just delighted that the Institute now has a core endowment of $4 million which assures that its work is long-term and the service to elementary and secondary education in New Haven is fully embedded as a responsibility of the university. Congratulations to New Haven and to Yale."

John Brademas, President Emeritus at New York University and Chairman of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, said: "The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is an outstanding example of the public-private partnership the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities encourages. The combined support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund has stimulated support from other donors foundations, corporations and individuals to sustain an enterprise that demonstrates how a great university can effectively strengthen the public schools of its community. I add my own to the many tributes being paid on this splendid achievement."

The Honorable Rosa L. DeLauro of the United States House of Representatives, said: "This is yet another success to add to the steadily growing list of Yale's programs to help the Greater New Haven Community. Reaching the lofty goal of a $4 million endowment for the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute will ensure that generations of school children will benefit from the work we celebrate here today. I am proud to support this outstanding effort."

John DeStefano, Jr., Mayor of the City of New Haven, said: "Congratulations to the many individuals who worked so hard to match the challenge grants awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund. This program draws a direct connection between the quality of teaching in our public school system and the ability of our teachers to tap into training resources available through the university. Today's announcement underscores how important the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is to the future of professional teacher development in our public schools."

M. Christine DeVita, President of the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, said: "For nearly 20 years the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute has been working hard to improve the teaching and learning processes in New Haven's public schools. The Institute's successful fundraising campaign ensures its work will continue well into the 21st century."

The Honorable Christopher J. Dodd of the United States Senate, said: "I commend the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, especially in these times of budget constraints, for meeting its challenge and raising the funds necessary to continue the important work of educating our kids and encouraging our country's future growth and competitiveness. This educational partnership should serve as a model of community cooperation and initiative for the entire country."

Sheldon Hackney, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, said: "The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is the first and foremost of its kind, serving as a model of how a university and a city school system can work together to improve the teaching in urban schools. The NEH is proud to have been part of this effort since the beginning. Now, after a five-year fundraising drie, the Institute has raised $4 million in matching funds and is ready to continue on its own. Foundations, corporations, local businesses and individuals have put forward money to say this is of enduring importance to the community. This is a very happy occasion."

Howard R. Lamar, Sterling Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University, said: "When I learned that the Institute had raised the necessary funds to match the challenge grants offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund and other donors, I felt that an impossible dream had somehow been realized. Beginning with Provost Hannah Gray's endorsement almost two decades ago, the Institute has been so steadfast in its mission to bring university and public school teachers together to work to improve teaching and the curriculum in schools that its contributions are now nationally recognized and accepted."

The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman of the United States Senate, said: "The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is home to several of the brightest and most enthusiastic educators in the region. The Institute recognizes that fresh and innovative approaches to education are necessary to insure that the children of this city and this region are well-prepared to compete on a global scale. Maintaining an adequate endowment is critical to the long-term success of the Institute, and it is great news for America's students that you are more than halfway to your endowment goal of seven million dollars."

Theodore R. Sizer, Director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, said: "A university's priorities are best seen by how its endowment is distributed. That the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is now on 'hard' money says worlds about Yale's acceptance of responsibility for the quality of public education in New Haven."

Donald M. Stewart, President of the College Board, said: "On behalf of the College Board, a nearly 100-year old association of schools and colleges, I salute the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute for its successful fund-raising drive. The College Board has had the pleasure of supporting the work of the Institute over the years, most notably during the EQ Models Program for School-College Collaboration several years back. The Institute stands as one of the great university-school collaborations in education, a pioneering model integrating curricular development with intellectual renewal for teachers. We applaud the Institute's tremendous contribution to the professional lives of teachers, and we sincerely hope that its new endowment will ensure its service to teachers in perpetuity."

1997

In "Creative America," its Report to the President, the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities recommended partnerships to "provide professional development for teachers; improve instruction in the arts and the humanities by encouraging colleges, universities and cultural organizations to cooperate with local school systems; and provide incentives to college and university faculty to develop collaborations with school teachers, educational administrators, and artists." The Committee cited the Institute as an "exemplary" partnership of this type: "Teachers in the arts and the humanities need the time and resources to participate in professional development to enrich their own knowledge and to gain practical ideas for their classrooms. At the community level, innovative partnerships have formed among some universities, cultural institutions, and school districts. Yale University and the public schools of New Haven, Connecticut have worked in partnership since 1978 to strengthen teaching in the city's schools. The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute brings college faculty and school teachers together on an equal footing to develop new course material in the humanities and the sciences, and to discuss issues chosen by the teachers themselves."

1998

John Brademas, President Emeritus of New York University and Chairman of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, said: “The power of the arts and humanities to develop creativity, help close the ‘opportunity gap,’ and prepare all children for productive futures is well documented . . . [We should] encourage communities throughout the United States to establish the kind of partnerships pioneered by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute.”

William Ferris, Chairman of the National Endowment for Humanities, called the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute “a success in bridging a gap between the ivory towers of the school and the . . . streets of the city.”

Gerald N. Tirozzi, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, said: “The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute has been a beacon of hope for what is possible when a significant partner and an enlightened school district commit to working closely and cooperatively together to enhance teaching and to improve the teaching-learning process."

1999

M. Christine DeVita, President of the Wallace-Reader’s Digest Funds, said: “We are eager to see local versions of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute take root in [other] cities, so that students can benefit from improved teaching and learning in their schools.”

2001

In a feature article for a special issue of On Common Ground, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige commented: “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.”

At a national conference at Yale, Susan K. Sclafani, Counsel to the U.S. Secretary of Education, spoke of ways that the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute model differs from conventional professional development for teachers: “What appealed to us in Houston . . . was that 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 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. . . 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.”

In his weekly column, Robert J. Leeney, Editor Emeritus of the New Haven Register, observed: “In this era of great educational challenge when solutions come and go like the seasons, this community’s near quarter-century experience with the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is a matter of pride.”

2002

Paul Cooke, Director of the Houston Teachers Institute, observed: “The Houston Teachers Institute first adopted the Yale model as part of our agreement to inaugurate a similar program here. But now we stay close to the model [that was] developed at Yale because we have tried it and proven it and found that it works exceedingly well. Our teachers care deeply about the principles on which our Institute is built and they are protective of them—principles of collegiality with university faculty, of teacher leadership in the administration of the Institute, of teacher involvement in seminar topic selection, and of the importance of creating . . . curriculum units. Teachers tell me that our Institute treats them as professionals. They say their voices are truly heard here. This is something of great value to teachers, and they know it’s an idea that came to us from the Yale Institute.”

Bill Cosby remarked of the Institute, “It is time to steadfastly applaud those who care enough to try to make the world a better place.”

In the Congressional Record U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro declared, “New Haven has certainly benefited from this tremendous organization which has not only touched the lives of so many teachers, but countless numbers of our children. The Institute has earned a distinguished reputation and has been recognized at every level of government as a model for all communities.”

New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr., who is also President of the National League of Cities, said: " . . . For 25 years, the Institute has made our community stronger by helping good teachers become great ones. And without great teachers, we can't have successful students or a successful school system. It is a pleasure to be a partner in this very effective program—a program that makes the City of New Haven better and stronger every day."

Helen S. Faison, Director of the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute, noted, “In my more than a half century involvement in public education in positions ranging from novice teacher to interim superintendent of a large urban school district I have never been associated with a teacher professional development model that afforded teachers the level of self-determination and satisfaction that the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute model does.”

Jonathan F. Fanton, President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, said, "Having worked in urban universities for more than thirty years, including in New York and Chicago, I have seen many attempts at partnership between institutions of higher education and their local public schools. The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute is a remarkably effective, enduring example of such collaboration . . . Drawing upon the distinctive strengths and common interests of a university and an urban school district, the Teachers Institute is an instrument of great promise for other cities across the country. The ultimate aim is to support teaching and learning for students. But the collateral benefits, both for a university and for the city it calls home, are broader. As a face-to-face, intensive, sustained collective undertaking, the Institute is a model that can be adapted and implemented widely."

Yale President Richard C. Levin observed, “For 25 years the Institute has served as the premier partnership between Yale and New Haven schools and has provided the model for the type of productive relationships that we now strive for in many spheres. Yale faculty members working together with New Haven teachers have mutually enriched their professional lives and enhanced the education of countless students in the public schools.”

New Haven Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo said, “Over the past 25 years, the Institute has made an enormous contribution to strengthening teaching and learning in the New Haven Public Schools. The Institute has been a significant factor in school improvement in New Haven by exciting teachers and sparking student interest in learning. I have seen how powerful Institute participation can be for creating a very fruitful collaboration among teachers within a school, and in stimulating them to learn more about the subjects they teach and to develop new classroom materials that excite and engage students in learning.”

Now President of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Gerald N. Tirozzi commented: “The continuing professional development of teachers must be at the centerpiece of school reform. As New Haven’s Superintendent of Schools in the late 1970’s, I fully understood that a school district alone did not have all of the necessary resources and subject matter expertise to energize and stimulate professional development activities. At that time, we helped to develop what has now become a 25-year exemplary model—a partnership between Yale University and New Haven Public Schools to form a cooperative and coherent effort to enhance the teaching profession. I am very proud to have been a part of this program and witnessed its dramatic growth and impact over the years. Congratulations to the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute in achieving a major milestone.”

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