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Teachers College Joins with Math for America and Columbia University to Prepare Gifted Math Collegians to teach in New York City Schools

Fifteen 2006-2007 Newton Fellows receive full tuition for master's degree and a $90,000 stipend over five years

NEW YORK, May 31, 2006-'"A fellowship program sponsored by Teachers College, the Math for America Foundation (MfA), and Columbia University is aiming to attract the best and the brightest mathematically gifted college graduates to teaching careers in New York City public schools.  The Newton Fellows, as the students are called, undergo intensive instruction leading to a master's degree in Secondary Math Education from Teachers College and eligibility for certification to teach in New York City.  The 2006-2007 cohort of 15 Newton Fellows begins its program in June 2006.  

The Fellows receive full tuition along with a $28,000 stipend for the first year as they pursue a master's degree.  In addition to their classes at Teachers College, Newton Fellows are also required to take specific graduate courses in Columbia University's Math Department. Fellows must agree to teach for four years in New York City public high schools upon receiving their degree and teacher certification. As an incentive, each receives an additional $62,000 to supplement their teaching salary over that four-year period.

Fellows are chosen by MfA, an initiative founded by James H. Simons, a mathematician and successful investment banker.  Simons, who is now president of Renaissance Technologies Corp., a private investment firm, taught mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and at Harvard early in his career.  In 2004, Simons gathered a group of fellow mathematicians, business leaders and educators, including United Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, to form MfA.  MfA is currently working to provide Fellows to teach in New York City public schools in Regions 5, 9 10.

"One thing that distinguishes Math for America is that it selects people who have demonstrated that they are mathematically gifted, but who may not have thought about teaching," said Erica Walker, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Teachers College and advisor to the incoming class of Newton Fellows.

Applicants must have a bachelor's degree with substantial coursework in mathematics (a minimum of 18 credits in math courses at the calculus level or higher are required).  Newton Fellowship applicants must demonstrate their abilities by taking the ETS Praxis II Math Content Exams:  Mathematics Content Knowledge and Mathematics: Proofs, Models and Problems, Part 1.  

In addition to Teachers College, New York University and Bard also partner with MfA. This year 130 applicants applied for a total of 40 Fellowship slots at the three institutions.  

Teachers College is the largest graduate school of education in the nation. Teachers College is affiliated with Columbia University, but it is legally and financially independent. The editors of U.S. News and World Report have ranked Teachers College as one of the leading graduate schools of education in the country.

Teachers College is dedicated to promoting equity and excellence in education and overcoming the gap in educational access and achievement between the most and least advantaged groups in this country. Through programs of teaching, research, and service, the College draws upon the expertise of a diverse community of faculty in education, psychology and health, as well as students and staff from across the country and around the world.

For more information, please visit the college's Web site at www.tc.columbia.edu.

Educational equity -- a moral imperative for the 21st century

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