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.
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.
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."
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."
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."
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.”
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.”
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.”