Two top leaders of the TNTP, an alternative teacher-certification and advocacy group, have announced plans to step down, paving the way for the first major leadership transition since Michelle Rhee left in 2007.
TNTP President Tim Daly and CEO Ariela Rozman, its CEO, will leave this summer. Taking their places, respectively, will be Karolyn Belcher and Daniel Weisberg. For now, the main thrust of the group’s work will be the same: boosting teacher effectiveness and helping teachers meet the higher demands placed on their profession.
Formerly known as the New Teacher Project, TNTP helps train and place teachers in nine major cities, and partners or consults with some 50 districts in all.
“We’ve both been here for 14 years and in leadership roles for 8 years and mindful of the the fact that fresh, vibrant leadership often serves the organization well and serves the work well,” Daly said in an interview.
Daly and Rozman became the group’s leaders in 2007 when Rhee, TNTP’s founder, left to lead the District of Columbia’s schools in 2008. Since then, TNTP’s national profile has grown, particularly after it issued “The Widget Effect,” a report on teacher evaluation systems, in 2009. Coupled with the federal Race to the Top program, the report’s conclusion that most teacher evaluation systems were largely perfunctory helped launch a wave of changes to state evaluation laws. Much of that has ended up kicking up controversy, as has the group’s sometimes-unsparing jabs at prominent figures in the K-12 world.
For his part, Daly said he’s proudest of a lesser-known effort dating all the way back to the early aughts: “The first thing that I was involved with was in New York City’s efforts to improve recruitment and training,” he said. “When I first started, there were thousands who were uncertified working with the lowest-income students, and by 2005 that number was practically zero.”
He and Rozman plan to start an organization helping parents negotiate the increasing complexity of the public school system (think charters, magnets, selective-enrollment programs, online learning, and so forth).
Weisberg is a former New York City education department labor policy chief, and Belcher has held a number of roles at TNTP, most recently as executive vice president for new teacher effectiveness, during which she helped oversee a change in TNTP’s training model.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.