In April 1987, the State Legislature authorized the creation of TOC. The two-fold purpose of the TOC is to: (1) fund the development and implementation of high-quality, innovative and effective teacher preparation programs which provide prospective teachers with the skills, attitudes and behaviors essential for success in New York State schools that serve a high concentration of at-risk students; and (2) to recruit and train more teachers who are from racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in education (African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Native Alaskan, Asian/Pacific Islander) and/or who are economically disadvantaged. The TOC initiative is based on the following principles: (1) that empowerment of teachers and administrators begins with preparation; (2) that teachers are key to effective education; (3) that teachers and administrators equipped with sound pedagogical and managerial skills are critical to the long-term solution to schools in crisis; (4) that recruitment of teachers without adequate preparation for using best practices in schools in crisis is a disservice to students, communities, schools and prospective teachers; and (5) that higher education has to be more responsive to the needs of prospective teachers in relation to preparing them to effectively work with students from diverse ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and economic backgrounds.
The TOC approaches the issue of instruction and counseling of at-risk students through long-term improvement of teacher preparation. The courses, recruitment methods, and curriculum developed with funds provided from this program must have the potential for replication, and also must have the potential for strengthening existing teacher preparation programs. TOC participants must be supported via mentoring designed to support and retain them in their critical first year of teaching.
State Statute: Chapter 53 of the Laws of 1987
NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS SERVED: 80 (2014-15)