Newark Public Schools Recognized by National Council on Teacher Quality

NPS one of Four honorable mentions nationwide chosen for policies and practices that support and encourage great teachers

[Newark, NJ – March 9, 2017] Newark Public Schools (NPS) announced today that NPS was named as one of four honorable mention districts nationwide in the National Council on Teacher Quality’s (NCTQ) first-ever Great Districts for Great Teachers initiative. NCTQ selected NPS after a rigorous, 18 month evaluation that showed that NPS is a national leader in developing and caring for great teachers that provide high-quality instruction to students.

“Great Districts for Great Teachers is a celebration of great teaching,” said Kate Walsh, President of NCTQ, a national leader on teacher issues. “We celebrate the hard, often politically challenging efforts by a special group of school districts who have managed to put together policies and practices that make them great places for great teachers to work.”

“We are honored that the NCTQ recognized Newark Public Schools as a national leader in supporting great teachers who provide a high-quality education for our young people,” said Superintendent Christopher D. Cerf of NPS. “We are so grateful to our tremendous school administrators and teachers who are working each and every day to provide excellent instruction.”

NCTQ developed the criteria based on over 10 years of experience analyzing district human capital policies and practices, as well as input from teachers and other education leaders. The nonprofit organization selected eight winners and four honorable mentions who excelled in five criteria areas that research suggests connect to effective teaching: compensation, professional support, effective management and operations, career and leadership opportunities, and support services for students.

Criteria included:

  • Salaries provide a good standard of living and the district finds ways to reward excellence.
  • Professional development and coaching are tailored to teachers’ needs and include plenty of collaborative planning time.
  • Schools are run efficiently, with evidence that the district allows its schools to make the decisions that are in their best interest.
  • There are plenty of opportunities for teachers to take on leadership roles.
  • Teachers receive strong support from the district when meeting the needs of students.

The winners include: Boston Public Schools, Broward County School District (Florida), Denver Public Schools, District of Columbia Public Schools, Gwinnett County Public Schools (Georgia), New York City Public Schools, Pinellas County School District (Florida) and Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Honorable mention districts in addition to NPS include: Duval County Public Schools (FL), Indianapolis Public Schools, and Osceola School District (FL).

“Great teachers transform the lives of their students,” said Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education 2009-2016. “Great districts understand their most important job is to get great teachers into every single one of their classrooms, and support them in the complex, critically important work they do every day.”

In choosing the winners and honorable mentions, NCTQ researchers carefully evaluated data from teacher contracts, examined documents and data submitted by the district, as well as surveyed and interviewed teachers. NCTQ staff verified the selected finalists through focus groups with teachers and interviews with district leaders in each district.

NCTQ organized the Great Districts for Great Teachers initiative because it believes that supporting and aiding great teachers is the best way to shape a better future for all students. Great teachers not only provide an excellent education for their own students, but they also become inspiring role models and leaders for the entire teaching profession.

Sponsors of this initiative include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Heinz Endowments, and the Walton Family Foundation.

This is the first year the National Council on Teacher Quality has named Great Districts for Great Teachers. More details about the program can be found at