Written by Tamara Azar and Anissa Listak of NCTR
This blog originally appeared on Impatient Optimists blog of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s recent $34.7 million investment in five Teacher Preparation Transformation Centers recognizes a call to action: schools and students need a consistent, reliable pipeline of effective new teachers. The grant to support the National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR) is a testament to the impact of our teacher residency model. The residency model has led to transformation in teacher preparation, influencing the ways in which traditional and alternative routes prepare teachers to work in high-need schools. NCTR’s Transformation Center will build on the early impact of this dynamic model and its potential to dramatically improve outcomes for students.

The grant from the Gates Foundation positions NCTR to work more closely with our existing residency program network partners to accelerate the growth and development of residents, graduate, mentors, schools and students. We will also expand NCTR’s network to reach more than 30 residencies and other clinically-based teacher preparation programs throughout the three-year grant period.

NCTR partners represent the most innovative and effective residency programs in the country. Individually, network programs have tremendous impact in their community; collectively, they demonstrate the power of the residency model as the standard of quality for teacher preparation nationwide. These partners will have access to our cutting-edge, research-based technical assistance, and impact and implementation evaluation support through a partnership with American Institutes for Research. Technical assistance will be provided through innovate consulting platforms, using strategies such as content-themed working groups, Instructional Rounds, and an Annual Summit on Clinical Preparation. We’ll also provide guidance, expertise, and facilitation to strengthen, scale and innovate providers over time.

Our goal as a Teacher Preparation Transformation Center is to transform teacher preparation through the adoption and expansion of teacher residencies and clinically-based programming. We will accomplish this goal by:

  • Accelerating provider impact and scale through the implementation of the core drivers of high quality, clinical-based teacher preparation
  • Evaluating delivery of NCTR’s rigorous technical assistance
  • Capturing and disseminating best and promising practices
  • Collaborating with other foundation-funded Transformation Centers to advance NCTR’s knowledge and expertise.

A unique component of NCTR’s Center will be partnership with five Demonstration Sites that will implement and test programming aligned to high quality preparation, act as laboratories of learning and improvement, and serve as models for all of the Center’s partners.

NCTR represents the collective voice of teacher residencies, propelling a national movement to transform teacher preparation by demonstrating how the core elements of the residency model develop effective teachers and improve student achievement. The Teacher Preparation Transformation Center initiative allows NCTR to accelerate that impact and extend the reach of effective residencies, so more students in high need schools and communities have access to an excellent teacher every year.