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Our History

Since 1988, we've led a national movement to support educators by combining the science of teaching with deep connections to students.
Our History
1988 – 1998

Kitchen Table Beginnings

In 1988, four teachers sat at a kitchen table and questioned how to keep new teachers in the profession. The numbers were grim: 50 percent of new teachers left within five years, and systems discouraged them from continuing on. Beyond retention, they knew that building teacher effectiveness was a big piece of the puzzle too.

Santa Cruz New Teacher Center (NTC) Project Launches
1988
Santa Cruz New Teacher Center (NTC) Project Launches

In response to the challenges facing novice teachers, a laboratory for developing mentoring strategies evolved. The program was founded by Ellen Moir, then Director of Teacher Education at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), in collaboration with Wendy Baron, Supervisor of Teacher Education at UCSC, and supported by the Chair of the UCSC Teacher Education Program, Eugene Garcia.

Early Proof of Concept
1992
Early Proof of Concept

The Santa Cruz New Teacher Project’s four-year pilot saw 37 induction programs serve more than 3,000 beginning teachers who were mentored by 2,200 experienced teachers in a cross section of urban, suburban, and rural school districts. An evaluation study showed improvement in both teacher practice and retention.

California Policy Invests More in New Teachers
1993
California Policy Invests More in New Teachers

The California State Legislature approved its Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) Program to invest in new teachers. BTSA set aside state funds to provide mentor support for new teachers to clear their credentials. The Santa Cruz New Teacher Project became one of California’s initial projects jointly administered by the California Department of Education and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

New Teacher Center Launches at UC Santa Cruz
1998
New Teacher Center Launches at UC Santa Cruz

With major support from the Walter S. Johnson and Noyce Foundations, the Santa Cruz New Teacher Project became the New Teacher Center, based at the University of California Santa Cruz. NTC began a quick expansion beyond the greater California Bay Area to bring induction and mentoring services to a broader portfolio of schools.

1999-2004

Growth and Expansion

As NTC’s work became known as a model practice for mentorship, the desire and need for bringing services to a national level grew. Schools, districts, and funders sought out NTC to partner and bring innovative professional learning to their communities. Collaboration and knowledge sharing enabled a period of extensive growth.

Inaugural Symposium
1999
Inaugural Symposium

A group of 175 thought leaders, policymakers, funders, researchers, and educators came together at UCSC for the first annual Symposium. The event, which focused on supporting new teachers and the role of mentorship, was the first of its kind. Over 22 additional Symposiums have taken place to date, serving more than 15,000 changemakers and educators from all 50 states and multiple countries.

A National Pilot Expands NTC Beyond California
2001
A National Pilot Expands NTC Beyond California

The Goldman Sachs Foundation enabled the NTC teacher induction model, considered the “gold standard” for mentor-based induction programs, to be replicated in rural and urban districts in other states. The national pilot opened up partnerships with districts in Dorchester, MD, New York City, and Charlotte, NC, and outreach and dissemination statewide in Wisconsin.

National Science Foundation Partnership for New Science Teachers
2002
National Science Foundation Partnership for New Science Teachers

In collaboration with the National Science Teaching Association and Montana State University, the National Science Foundation awarded NTC a five-year, $7.5 million grant. The initiative supported virtual mentoring networks to provide support to beginning science teachers in middle school and high school.

Pre-service Collaboration with Colleges and Universities
2003
Pre-service Collaboration with Colleges and Universities

The Carnegie Foundation and NTC partnered in the Teachers for a New Era program to revitalize and shift teacher pre-service programs across the country. The project provided support for new teachers that extended from college preparation through the first two years in the classroom.

Jewish New Teacher Project
2004
Jewish New Teacher Project

Transitioning from a pilot program of the AVI CHAI Foundation in 2003, NTC’s Jewish New Teacher Project began with a group of Jewish Day Schools in New York City. Adapting NTC’s model to accelerate teacher effectiveness, JNTP’s partnerships across the U.S. have supported more than 1,000 educators to date.

2005-2009

New Innovations, Field Leadership

NTC’s programs continued to evolve, bringing years of lessons learned from teacher-focused coaching and mentoring to more educators and in new ways. Meanwhile, NTC’s 15 years of excellence in the field put more and more emphasis on mentorship as an integral piece of the professional development experience.

School Leadership Development
2005
School Leadership Development

Building on initial programs to support new administrators, NTC piloted a new training program to support principals as instructional leaders. It enabled the development of action plans for site-level instructional leadership by providing principals and school leaders intensive, contextualized support from a coach or mentor.

NTC Founder Receives the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education
2005
NTC Founder Receives the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education

Ellen Moir was honored for the work of the New Teacher Center and her leadership in the field of teacher induction and mentoring. The McGraw Prize celebrates innovation, inspiration, and impact in education, with past honorees including former First Lady Barbara Bush, former North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt, Jr., and former U.S. Secretaries of Education Richard Riley and Rod Paige.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Induction Program
2006
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Induction Program

CPS, the nation’s third largest school district, launched a human capital management strategy with NTC to take on the deep challenge of improving beginning teacher retention. The 15-year partnership continues today, focusing on sustainable models for coaching, school leadership, and curriculum implementation.

USDOE Evaluates Impact of Teacher Induction
2006
USDOE Evaluates Impact of Teacher Induction

Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. selected NTC to be one of two providers of teacher induction program models for the first U.S. Department of Education evaluation of mentor-based induction. The program brought mentor training and beginning teacher seminars to eight large urban school districts over a two-year period.

Electronic Mentoring for Student Success in Math
2007
Electronic Mentoring for Student Success in Math

NTC launched eMSS, a pilot program in nine states, to boost student performance in mathematics by providing an online network for beginning math teachers. Teachers shared case studies, lesson plans, and common challenges, while accessing mathematics content specialists. eMSS served roughly 4,000 teachers over the course of 10 years.

Book Published on New Teacher Mentoring
2009
Book Published on New Teacher Mentoring

Harvard Education Press published New Teacher Mentoring: Hopes and Promise for Improving Teacher Effectiveness, laying out the principles of high-quality instructional mentoring and providing case studies for a variety of applications and situations in school districts.

2010-2017

Measuring Impact, Building Bridges

Policymakers needed a higher level of awareness of the effectiveness of NTC’s professional learning approach on students. Multiple research studies showed clear results of improvement in classrooms, demonstrating that high-quality support for educators was an excellent return on investment for increased learning.

Review of State Policies on Teacher Induction
2011
Review of State Policies on Teacher Induction

In partnership with the Joyce Foundation, NTC created comprehensive summaries of induction policies for all 50 states. The review elevated 10 key state policy criteria for comprehensive, high-quality induction that accelerates new teacher effectiveness and improves teacher retention at the state level.

Measures of Effective Teaching Project
2013
Measures of Effective Teaching Project

The culmination of a three-year project, the MET Project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was a collaboration between NTC, dozens of independent research teams, and nearly 3,000 teacher volunteers from seven U.S. public school districts. The findings provided measures for identifying great teaching as a means for educators to improve their practice and serve as the basis for more targeted professional development.

Launch of Early Learning
2014
Launch of Early Learning

Funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Starting Smart and Strong Initiative began in three communities across the Bay Area as well as Alum Rock in East San Jose. NTC’s first efforts to promote and sustain high-quality early learning programs revealed a deep need for professional development infrastructure and support for preschool and transitional kindergarten teachers.

i3 Report Validates NTC Model Increases Student Success
2017
i3 Report Validates NTC Model Increases Student Success

A five-year study revealed that students of NTC-supported teachers gained up to five months of additional learning in reading and math. Evaluation partner SRI International shared how the NTC model supports educators in delivering high-quality instruction focused on student needs with big results.

2019-2021

Centering Students, Advancing Equity

The intersection of professional learning and student equity put NTC at the forefront of pushing a new paradigm. We’re moving from “managing inequity” to a new way forward, one that actively dismantles barriers for over 50 million underserved students and unlocks opportunities without restrictions.

A New Mission and Vision of Equity for Students
2019
A New Mission and Vision of Equity for Students

Under the leadership of CEO Desmond Blackburn, NTC wrote a new mission statement: “to disrupt the predictability of educational inequities for systemically underserved students by accelerating educator effectiveness.” The executive team was reformed to comprise entirely people of color, with decades of experience in the work of educational equity and justice.

Building on a Legacy of Social-Emotional Learning
2020
Building on a Legacy of Social-Emotional Learning

NTC received a five-year, $7.9 million Education Innovation and Research grant to implement our whole-school professional learning model with three sites across the U.S. Through SEL-anchored instructional support for coaches, teachers, and school leaders, the data-driven approach opens up new pathways to steer instruction practices, improve learning, transform school culture, and retain teachers by meeting systemically underserved students’ needs.

Inaugural Equity Education Commission
2021
Inaugural Equity Education Commission

To ensure NTC is serving students experiencing poverty, BIPOC students, English-language learners, students with learning differences, and immigrant students, we launched a national Education Equity Commission (EEC). The EEC shines a spotlight on the roots of systemic problems, and pushes on NTC’s services and strategies to unlock opportunities for underserved students. Members include field leaders in equity, systems leadership, blended learning, mindset/behavior change, trauma-informed practices, and a student advisory group.

Rebranding and Anchoring in Humanity
2021
Rebranding and Anchoring in Humanity

In response to our new mission and expanding focus, we launched a new logo, website, and brand vision for NTC. It serves as a reminder to always put students in the center, and to truly see people and lead with empathy, especially when designing strategies or dismantling broken systems.

Discover more about NTC
Our Philosophy
Our Philosophy

We believe classrooms are oases of empathy and humanity, centered on every learner’s needs.

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Who We Serve
Who We Serve

We’re committed to equity for all students, especially those from underserved communities.

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What We Offer
What We Offer

Our professional learning innovations help educators build thriving, equitable schools.

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