In the education sector, or in any social sector, being associated with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is more often than not a positive association.
This certainly holds true for Dallas Teacher Residency, a Social Venture Partners (SVP) Dallas Advisee, who was recently invited to join the National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR) Next Generation Network (NGN) –- the only network in the country composed of 24 high-performing teacher residency programs that transform how teachers are prepared in order to maximize educator impact.
NCTR’s membership in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Alliance for Advancing Justice by Transforming Teacher Education project enhances opportunities for partners such as Dallas Teacher Residency to collaborate and engage in high-quality initiatives that directly impact student outcomes.
INNOVATIVE TEACHER PREPARATION GRADUATE PROGRAM
Founded in 2013, with initial seed funding from GroundFloor, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ social innovation fund and accelerator program, Dallas Teacher Residency (DTR), in collaboration with its Higher Education partner Texas A&M University–Commerce, designed an innovative teacher preparation graduate program that adapts aspects of the medical residency model to teacher training.
Focused entirely on recruiting and preparing teachers for work in select urban school districts, such as Dallas Independent School District and Mesquite Independent School District, DTR directly addresses the critical human capital needs these North Texas school districts face around teacher preparation and teacher quality.
“Last year Dallas County lost nearly 5,000 teachers -– costing the county nearly $55 million,” Rob DeHaas, co-founder of Dallas Teacher Residency. My co-founder, Elizabeth Castile, and I are strong believers in the teacher residency model -– a model that has a proven track record of success in other large urban cities across the country. Three years ago, there was not a single urban teacher residency program in North Texas.
“Founding DTR was in direct response to this great opportunity –- and responsibility –- that existed to ensure that all students had access to a well prepared and highly effective classroom teacher.”
While DTR has experienced significant growth since its founding, the organization was at a crossroads 12 months ago. According to DeHaas, the organization had been successful in the development of its programming, but with its limited capacity, had not put in place the necessary organizational infrastructure, specifically at a governance level, to support its aggressive growth plan.
After being selected as an SVP Dallas Advisee last October, DTR became the beneficiary of expertise and guidance provided by a team of SVP Dallas Partners. In this time, SVP Dallas worked alongside the DTR team to develop key governance processes, procedures, and protocols that would ultimately lead to the development of a governance board.
“In the for-profit and nonprofit worlds alike, it takes a particular kind of person and organization to take the stomach-turning risks that lie in front of important change,” said Tony Fleo, CEO of SVP Dallas.
“We are committed to taking the long position on leaders and teams who are taking the risks necessary to create the innovative solutions our communities need.”
Our work with DTR over the last 12 months is emblematic of that commitment and we couldn’t be more thrilled to see the enormous strides forward they’re taking.”
Since their initial $50,000 seed investment in 2013, the residency collaborative between DTR and Texas A&M University–Commerce has identified over $3 million in funding to support teacher preparation, and ultimately, improve student academic outcomes in Dallas. Currently, DTR is the only teacher residency program in Texas that is part of the NCTR Next Generation Network.
“Kids and families know when they have a good teacher -– you know when you are learning,” Castile said. “What I want to see is a city where all students finish school and all feel like every teacher in their life made a difference. Thanks to strategic partners like SVP Dallas, we get closer and closer each day towards achieving that goal.”
About Dallas Teacher Residency (DTR)
Dallas Teacher Residency (DTR) is a not-for-profit organization created to ensure that urban school students have access to well-trained and highly effective classroom teachers. Based in Dallas, DTR recruits, prepares and supports new teachers through a highly intensive and clinical rich apprenticeship, while also working alongside local urban school districts to meet their hiring needs. Through this innovative approach to teacher training, DTR aims to create both high-quality educators, in addition to creating support systems which ensure educators have the opportunity to impact levels of student academic achievement through teaching. For more information on DTR, visit www.dallastr.org.
About Social Venture Partners (SVP) Dallas
SVP Dallas, founded in 2000, is committed to improving lives and maximizing social impact through thoughtful application of collective resources and expertise. Since its founding, SVP Dallas has collectively invested more than $3 million in over 30 local nonprofits, engaged 500+ Partners in volunteerism, and collaborated with a multitude of nonprofit organizations, or “Investees.” SVP Dallas goes beyond philanthropy. SVP Dallas does good better. For more information on SVP Dallas, visit SVPDallas.org.
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