TNTP was formed in 1997 as The New Teacher Project with the aim of giving poor and minority students equal access to effective teachers. From the beginning, TNTP has drawn inspiration from the hard work, talent and impact of America’s best educators.
Led by Michelle Rhee for its first 10 years, TNTP initially focused on helping urban districts improve the way they recruited, trained and hired new teachers. In 2000, our highly-selective Teaching Fellows and TNTP Academy programs began preparing professionals without a traditional education background to become effective teachers for high-need schools.
Our ground-level focus on systemic challenges
Through our work bringing new teachers into high-need schools, we began to encounter the policy barriers that hampered schools’ efforts to hire and keep great teachers firsthand. We noticed similar challenges across districts and began investigating the underlying policies, publishing reports on the negative impact of late teacher hiring and forced-placement and offering common-sense solutions to encourage reform. In 2009, TNTP published the widely acclaimed study, The Widget Effect, which galvanized a national movement to make teacher evaluations more rigorous and meaningful.
Then as now, TNTP worked alongside its district and state partners to respond to their most pressing problems. Based in district offices, TNTP staff gained a deep understanding of teachers and administrators’ day-to-day challenges, allowing us to advance practical, long-lasting changes. This ground-level focus remains a hallmark of TNTP’s programs and initiatives today.
Our flexible approach to an evolving landscape
As the education landscape evolves, so does TNTP. Today, we’re helping districts recruit, certify and hire great teachers – those who not only show promise, but who also demonstrate a track record of raising student achievement. And we’re helping schools, districts and states take the critical next step: improving the way they measure and manage teacher performance on the job.
Now an organization of nearly 400 staff members, TNTP continues to believe that change is possible in even the most challenged schools. Our 15 years working with 200 districts have confirmed that a great teacher can help students grow by leaps and bounds, that a great principal can develop a team of dedicated professionals, and that committed schools, districts and states can create environments that prioritize student success. We are working hand-in-hand with our partners in dozens of cities to make this vision a reality – and to offer all students an excellent education.