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Our history

CTQ's Past... and Our Future

Since our organization was founded in 1998 as the Southeast Center for Teaching Quality, we have focused on advancing the results-oriented profession that students deserve.

In our early years, the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) honed in on practical research to inform policymakers, administrators, and union leaders. But the heart and soul of CTQ has always been our work with teachers.

Here’s the story of our past… (Or, if you're the "skip ahead" type, the story of our future...)

1996—Planting the seeds

  • Barnett Berry (future CTQ founder) works closely with Linda Darling-Hammond, then executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF), to develop What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future. The landmark report charts a coherent system of teacher recruitment, education, professional development, compensation, and school design to dramatically close the achievement gap.
  • Darling-Hammond and Berry launch NCTAF’s state partnership network, helping political and education leaders implement policies to professionalize teaching.

1998—Getting started

  • The BellSouth Foundation grants $300,000 to the University of North Carolina General Administration for Barnett Berry to support the planning and development of a southeast regional office of NCTAF: the Southeast Center for Teaching Quality (SECTQ).
  • Barnett Berry and J.B. Buxton publish Teaching Quality in the Southeast: A Regional Call to Action, building on NCTAF’s What Matters Most. Berry and Buxton’s paper defines teaching quality issues and outlines a regional agenda for collective action.

2000s—Building a research base for our work (think-tank time!)

SECTQ engages in a wide range of research projects with universities and think tanks to demonstrate the effects of current teaching policy on student achievement:

  • assessing the impact of No Child Left Behind teacher quality requirements;
  • documenting the influence of high-stakes accountability on teachers’ professional development;
  • analyzing how to recruit and retain accomplished teachers for hard-to-staff, low-performing schools;
  • creating a robust model of teacher performance pay focused on spreading teaching expertise; and
  • identifying innovative models of teacher preparation.

2003—Creating a virtual community of teacher leaders

  • SECTQ launches the Teacher Leaders Network (TLN) with support from the MacArthur Foundation and Washington Mutual. Who’s invited? Highly accomplished teachers (many of whom are National Board Certified and/or Teachers of the Year). The goal? To elevate the voices of expert teachers on issues of education policy and practice. The venue? A simple listserv. SECTQ begins developing expertise in building and sustaining virtual communities among busy teacher leaders.

2005—Going national... with a new name!

  • Our work becomes more national in scope, and we change our name to the Center for Teaching Quality, Inc. (CTQ). A year later, CTQ receives its first grant dedicated solely to elevating teacher voices in policy conversations, thanks to the Joyce Foundation.

2007—Elevating teachers' voices on policy and practice

  • CTQ selects its inaugural TeacherSolutions team, focusing on performance pay. Through our TeacherSolutions process, expert teachers carefully study research and apply their pedagogical knowledge to generate policy recommendations. The team’s report, Performance-Pay for Teachers, outlines strategies for redesigning teacher compensation.
  • In October 2007, CTQ and Education Week Teacher partner up to create a weekly column (still going strong!) highlighting teachers' classroom know-how.
  • Meanwhile, CTQ launches blogs by TLN members (including Bill Ferriter, Renee Moore, and Ariel Sacks), exposing a broader audience to the ideas and experiences of these accomplished teacher leaders.

2008—Analyzing National Board Certification (and making a technological leap!)

  • Our second TeacherSolutions team, thanks to NBPTS, releases Measuring What Matters, a policy brief on the impact of National Board Certification on student and teacher learning.
  • Barnett Berry is commissioned to write The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the Future of a Profession. The report recommends ways for the NBPTS to develop “a profession of well-educated teachers prepared to assume new powers and responsibilities to redesign schools for the future,” as it was created to do.
  • The Teacher Leaders Network shifts from a listserv format to a private online community space, and membership doubles in size to more than 500

2008-2010—Deploying National Board Certified Teachers to spread their expertise

  • CTQ provides leadership preparation and opportunities to National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) in California, Illinois, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington, DC. Operating in our virtual community, these accomplished teachers support underprepared, out-of-field, and early-career teachers, as well as cohorts of National Board and Take One! Candidates. These efforts to improve student learning and teacher retention are supported by Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, GlaxoSmithKline, Motorola, the University of North Carolina General Administration, Washington Mutual, and Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

2009—Expanding the network with the help of Virtual Community Organizers (VCOs)

  • The New Millennium Initiative (NMI) is created to cultivate teacher leaders’ skills and knowledge so they can advocate for effective local and state teaching policies. The Rose Community Foundation, Stuart Foundation, and Joyce Foundation support NMI. A subsequent grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supports dramatic growth in this network.(By 2013, previous NMI communities shift to become Geo Labs.)
  • CTQ hires and supports TLN members to serve as our first Virtual Community Organizers (VCOs). A rigorous CTQ-developed curriculum prepares teacher leaders to engage their colleagues in online discussion, learning, and most importantly action.

2010—Addressing teacher working conditions

  • The TeacherSolutions Teacher Working Conditions team, including 14 teacher leaders working in high-needs districts, publishes Transforming School Conditions, building on previous state reports as well as their own research and experience. The team identifies specific game-changing ways policymakers can improve conditions for effective teaching and learning.

2011—Sharing the TEACHING 2030 vision and bringing it to life

  • Barnett Berry and 12 teacher authors publish TEACHING 2030: What We Must Do for Our Students and Our Public Schools… Now and in the Future, a vision of how public education could look in two decades. Funded by MetLife, the book identifies trends that will shape students’ learning experiences and proposes ways to guarantee excellent teachers for every student.
  • CTQ selects our first cohort of teacherpreneurs. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rose Community Foundation, and Stuart Foundation, three teachers in Colorado and Washington State serve in hybrid roles. They teach students part of the day and lead local, state, and national efforts with CTQ during the remainder.
  • We convene the Implementing Common Core Standards team, with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These 18 NBCTs from Kentucky and North Carolina pilot formative assessment templates for literacy and math instruction across the curriculum. Team members create portfolios of lesson plans, unit plans, and assessments to document their experiences with templates created by the Literacy Design Collaborative and the Math Design Collaborative. (Check out our Common Core resources to see some results!)
  • We support a growing number of teachers in publishing high-quality writing in a range of venues, including Teaching Ahead: A Roundtable, a new partnership with Education Week Teacher supported by MetLife.
  • CTQ strengthens our social media presence. For example, we launch a monthly #teaching2030 Twitter chat (still going: third Thursday of every month, 8:30-9:30 p.m. ET).

2012—Becoming an action tank for teacher leadership

  • CTQ completes our transition from a think tank on the teaching profession to a teacher leadership “action tank.” We tighten our focus on cultivating teacher leadership for 21st-century teaching and learning as outlined in TEACHING 2030. We connect, ready, and mobilize teacher leaders to transform their profession.
  • We select and support our second cohort of teacherpreneurs: Megan Allen (FL), Jessica Cuthbertson (CO), Ryan Kinser (FL), and Noah Zeichner (WA). In addition, two teacher-leaders-in-residence, Sarah Henchey (NC) and Lori Nazareno (CO), work with CTQ full-time.

2013—Opening the doors and deepening the work

  • We introduce the CTQ Collaboratory, an incubator for teachers' bold ideas and innovative solutions. TLN members are the first to join the CTQ Collaboratory as we phase out our old platform and open our community doors to more teachers than ever. We also welcome all who value teachers as leaders in the classroom and beyond.
  • TEACHERPRENEURS by Barnett Berry, Ann Byrd, and Alan Wieder is published.  A teacherpreneur is a special brand of classroom expert who blurs the lines of distinction between those who teach in schools and those who lead them. This book presents a new vision of student learning and explains how the teaching profession can be transformed by the cultivation of hybrid roles. Lots of how-tos.
  • In Kentucky, a statewide cadre of teachers lead their colleagues in implementing Common Core State Standards. A teacherpreneur and a number of VCOs spearhead the effort online and offline, jointly supported by CTQ, the Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky Education Association, and the Prichard Committee. A similar project launches in three midsized North Carolina districts with the support of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

2016—Demonstrating proof of concept

  • A leadership force of 10,000 teacherpreneurs is changing the face of education in America. These classroom experts teach, support their peers, engage in research, act as community organizers, and impact educational policy nationwide. They are learning from and collaborating with colleagues across the globe.

2020—Spreading teacher expertise like never before

  • More than 30,000 teacherpreneurs are at work across the United States.

2030—Realizing the vision of a transformed profession

  • The education profession fully embraces the concept of teacher leadership by funding, preparing, and supporting a national cadre of 600,000 teacherpreneurs.