NYC Teaching Fellows is one of the country’s largest and most selective alternative routes to teacher certification. Our program brings talented and passionate career changers and recent college grads into NYC classrooms to teach critical-need subject areas, including English, special education, and math.
In the spring of 2000, the New York City Department of Education launched the NYC Teaching Fellows program to bring great teachers to the students who need them most. At the time, New York City suffered from a chronic shortage of qualified teachers, with nearly 11,000 uncertified teachers working in the city’s highest-need schools and subject areas. This contributed to persistent achievement gaps and low graduation rates among Black and Hispanic students, with fewer than 40 percent graduating on time.
Since our program launched, we have recruited and trained thousands of new teachers through our highly selective program, and have transformed teacher quality in the nation’s largest school district. Today, more than 9,000 Teaching Fellows—12 percent of New York’s teaching force—work in the city’s schools, accounting for more than 20 percent of the city’s math, science, and special education teachers.
Over the past decade, New York City schools have improved dramatically. While much work remains to be done, nearly 60 percent of Black and Hispanic students now graduate within four years—and our Fellows have played an instrumental role in that progress.