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State Education Officials Announce TeachNY Initiative

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher
WAMC/Patrick Garrett

A new campaign to increase the quality and quantity of teachers in New York was announced on Wednesday by SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and State Education Commissioner MaryEllenElia. The initiative was launched to help encourage college enrollment in teaching professions.

TeachNY is a campaign focused on improving the “pipeline” and  the “supply and demand” of teachers in the state. A big focus of the campaign announcement in Albany was the need for new teachers over the next decade, with many educators on the verge of retirement. Elia says they need to make sure the teachers are supported.

"We need to make that teachers and the profession of teaching is elevated as Nancy said, so that people want to become teachers and when they do become teachers that we all recognize the importance of that role that they play in their students lives," said Elia.

...we will need an average of 1,700 new teachers every year going forward, and we are not alone... -SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher

The initiative unveiled in Albany is aimed at improving the preparation of teachers entering education. Zimpher outlined why she said the partnership was needed for TeachNY.

"New York is facing a significant and growing shortage of teachers, we will need an average of 1,700 new teachers every year going forward, and we are not alone," Zimpher said. "Across the country there will be a call for 1.6 million new teachers over the next decade."

Zimpher said the campaign would promote “the power of teaching,” cement teaching as a clinical practice profession, improve the supply and demand of educators, and support the education preparation pipeline. But Zimpher says the program needs funding.

The announcement was quickly criticized by the United University Professions union president, who called it a “smoke screen.”

You can read the TeachNY findings here.

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