"Examining Teacher Preparation...A View from the Classroom". Recent Teaching Policy Fellow alum, Erin Lane, discusses her thoughts on teacher prep. 

"No Need to fear Common Core". Recent Teaching Policy Fellow alum, Colleen Considine, shares how teaching Common Core has changed her classroom. 

"Measuring School Quality: A Perspective from Boston Teachers"
. Teaching Policy Fellows share their recommendations for Boston Public Schools' measures of school quality.  

National News



File: infog-Dennis Van Roekel Quote.png

The NEA encourages its members to use Assessment Advisor to rate the assessments they’ve used in their classrooms! 4,000 teachers in 40 states have checked out the site so far. Have you?

Read the NEA Today article.

Survey: Today’s teaching force is less experienced, more open to change
By Jackie Mader
Hechinger Report, October 23, 2012

Teacher-Leader Corps Helps Turn Around Schools
By Stephen Sawchuck
Education Week, April 20, 2011

New Teachers are the New Majority 
By Celine Coggins & Heather Peske
Education Week, January 19, 2011

Lesson Plan in Boston Schools: Don’t Go It Alone
By Mike Winerip
New York Times, August 8, 2010


Boston Fellows

Meet the Massachusetts Teaching Policy Fellows 2013-2014 Cohort:

Portia Botchway

Portia is a high school biology and chemistry teacher at the Academy of the Pacific Rim (APR) Charter Public School in Hyde Park. Previously, she taught fifth and seventh grade science for a year at APR before transitioning into the high school. She has served as a mentee and is currently a mentor in the school's faculty induction program and re-designed the chemistry scope and sequence to improve student understanding and better align with MA standards. She earned an A.B. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard College and a secondary field in Classics.

Colleen Considine

Colleen is a 2nd grade teacher in an inclusion classroom at the Mason Pilot Elementary School in Roxbury, MA. She came to teaching after volunteering with and mentoring students in the District of Columbia’s Public Schools and uncovering a passion for using education as a means of social justice. She is a dual-certified in Mild to Moderate Disabilities K-8 and Elementary Education. Colleen has served for 4 years on the Mason Pilot School's Achievement Network Data Team, working to support the school's use of data to drive instruction. She is also a representative to the Boston Teacher's Union. Colleen is currently a member of the Boston Public School's Inclusive Network's Technology Cadre, focusing on finding new ways to implement technology within the classroom setting for the benefit of students school-wide. Colleen earned her B.F.A. from Virginia Tech, and her M.Ed. and M.S.W. from Boston University.

Caroline Corcoran

Caroline Corcoran is a dual certified (Elementary Education and English as a Second Language) teacher in the Boston Public Schools. Currently, she teaches fourth grade in a Sheltered English Immersion classroom for students who have recently arrived to the country from Haiti. She has also taught fourth grade in a general education setting, and ESL/reading intervention to grades 3, 4, and 5 students. Caroline believes that one of the main purposes of education is to create lifelong learners. To help achieve this goal, she serves on Literacy Leadership Team, Math Leadership Team, and as facilitator of the Instructional Leadership Team. She also oversees grant programs in visual arts and dance to make sure that all of her students can experience success within and outside of their academic careers. Caroline holds an M.A. in Elementary Inclusive Education from Teachers College at Columbia University, and a B.A. in psychology from Goucher College.

Jayme Drzewinski

Jayme is currently in her 7th year teaching in the Boston Public Schools district and has been working at the Edison K8 School in Brighton for the past four years. A third grade teacher, Jayme holds teaching licenses in Moderate Disabilities, English as a Second Language and Elementary Education. She has served as a member of the Instructional Leadership Team for over four years and is a grade level facilitator at her school. Jayme has worked as a district-wide facilitator of third grade math workshops and was a member of the teacher cohort that worked to adapt Boston’s math and social studies curriculum to better align with the Common Core Standards. She has a B.A. in Elementary Education and an M.Ed in Education Research, Measurement and Evaluation from Boston College. She was a 2012 Boston Educator of the Year.

Mallory Hicks

Mallory is a second grade teacher at Brooke Mattapan Charter School. She was a founding first grade teacher at the school in 2011, and taught first grade at Brooke Roslindale in 2010. At Brooke Mattapan, Mallory leads the associate teacher program, planning professional development for new teachers; she was also the head coach of the middle school Girls on the Run team. Mallory began her career as a 2008 Teach For America corps member, teaching third grade at P.S. 86 in the Bronx. She earned her B.A. from Middlebury College, and her M.A. in Education from Teacher U at Hunter College, graduating with distinction as a result of high student achievement.

Matthew Kazlauskas

Matthew Kazlauskas is a National Board Certified teacher, with a dual license in History and ESL. He teaches at the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science where he has helped dramatically improve student access, performance and enrollment in the AP program. In addition to his teaching, Matthew serves as the AP Social Studies Content Specialist for Boston Public Schools, working with teachers throughout the district. He is a College Board AP United States History reader and presented at the 2012 AP US History Reading in Louisville, KY on “Teaching AP in the Urban Classroom.” Matthew has a BA in History with a minor in Anthropology from the University of Florida and an MAT from Northeastern University.

Carline Kelly

Carline is a high school English and ESL teacher in the Boston Public Schools. She is currently in her 9th year of teaching at Brighton High School, where she has been a member of the Instructional Leadership Team, a teacher leader, and a mentor to student teachers from Boston College, Harvard, and Boston University. In her work as a teacher leader, Carline has mentored beginning teachers and teachers new to the English and ESL departments. She has also worked as a member of a team to develop and facilitate professional development for her school, in which she incorporated the development of S.M.A.R.T. goals, analyzing student work, utilizing relevant research, engaging in group talk, and revising goals in order to increase student learning. Carline has also collaborated with team members to align curriculum in the English and ESL departments by grade level and ESL level. In 2008, Carline received her National Board Certification. Additionally, she has coached varsity softball at Brighton High School for seven years. Carline earned her B.A. from Amherst College in 2001 and her Master of Arts in Teaching English from Boston College in 2004. In the spring of 2012, Carline received the Amherst College Class of ’54 Commitment to Teaching Award. She continues to take classes at local universities to develop her teaching and leadership skills.

Erin Lane

Erin is currently in her fourth year of teaching 8th-grade English at Prospect Hill Academy Charter School in Cambridge, MA. Before PHA, she taught middle school for three years with Revere Public Schools. Throughout her time at PHA, she has been accepted to and participated in the Teacher Leadership Academy in 2011 and 2012, and led the 8th Grade Humanities Collaborative Inquiry Team in the Fall of 2012. As a result of her work on data-based instruction with the Collaborative Inquiry Team at PHA, she presented at the Achievement Network Spring Conference in 2010 and a nation-wide Achievement Network webinar on teaching writing. She has also presented twice during PHA’s Collaborative Inquiry Showcase, an in-school professional development where teachers run workshops for colleagues about data-based instruction. During the summers of 2011 and 2012, she taught 9th grade English at Cambridge-Harvard Summer Academy while also mentoring teaching interns from Harvard Graduate School of Education; she plans to return in the summer of 2013. Erin holds a BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross and a Master’s Degree in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Karen Levin

Karen is the Lead Math Teacher at City on a Hill Charter School in Roxbury, MA. She currently teaches 9th grade Algebra and 11th Grade Advanced Algebra. She thoroughly enjoys spending time with her students and watching as they develop their own ideas about math. Karen believes all students can explore deep mathematical ideas and uses authentic learning experiences to enhance understanding. In addition to her time in the classroom, Karen is the liaison for the Numeracy Tutorial program at City on a Hill helping 25 tutors to deliver high quality instruction to students. She earned a B.A. from Middlebury College and an M.A.T. from Boston University.

Nick Lippman

Nick teaches math at Malden High School and for the past three years has served as the high school math teacher leader, facilitating work among high school teachers as well as with math teachers from the district’s K-8 schools. He coordinates a math summer enrichment program for students in the Malden Public Schools, works as a lead teacher in the Massachusetts Math and Science Initiative in cooperation with teachers from several neighboring school districts and presented at this year’s College Board New England Regional Forum. Last year, Nick was selected as the National Math and Science Initiative AP Mathematics Teacher of the Year for Massachusetts. Nick is active in the Malden Education Association and has been a member of his union’s contract negotiations committee for the last four contracts. He has a Bachelors of Science in Applied Mathematics from Brown University and a M.Ed. from Cambridge College.

Alex Lisak

Alex is in his sixth year of teaching at Academy of the Pacific Rim, in Hyde Park, where he teaches Precalculus, AP Calculus and AP Statistics. Along with being the mathematics department head Alex chairs the 11th and 12th grade teams and is a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee. Alex has worked to develop the AP mathematics program and participated on a committee of teachers and administrators who overhauled the teacher evaluation system at APR. Alex received his BA in History from Northwestern University and holds and M.A.T from National Louis University in Chicago.

Mardi Loeterman

Mardi is a special education and reading teacher at Edwards Middle School. Mardi changed careers ten years ago because of a growing desire to teach reading to adolescents. She feels that every student should be given the tools to become a competent reader and prefers to work with those who struggle the most with reading comprehension and word attack. Mardi has been a literacy coach, ESL teacher, special education teacher, and reading intervention specialist, within BPS. Her teacher induction program was through the Coalition of Essential Schools, teaching reading at North Central Charter Essential School, in Fitchburg. Her masters degree is in Language and Literacy (with Reading Licensure) from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. She is in the process of becoming certified in the Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching decoding. Mardi’s bachelors degree is in Linguistics, from UCLA. In her former career, at WGBH, Mardi developed and researched educational technology for students with learning and sensory disabilities.

Bill Madden-Fuoco

Bill Madden-Fuoco is a fifth-year Humanities teacher at Urban Science Academy. As an Instructional Teacher Leader, Bill spearheads the school's professional development initiatives. Prior to teaching, he worked for five years in the Education Division of the Anti-Defamation League’s national office, and then attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where in 2006 he earned a Master’s in Education Policy and was honored with the Intellectual Contribution Award by his peers and faculty. Bill is a graduate of the 2007 cohort of the Boston Teacher Residency, and in 2011 he was a finalist for the Massachusetts Teacher of Year program. A passion for equitable educational opportunity drives Bill's teaching, and he was inspired to become an educator by the work of his wife, Jessica. Bill and Jessica have a five-year old daughter, Sojourner, who is in kindergarten in BPS.

Emily Mayer

Emily is the English Department Chair and 8th Grade Reading Teacher at Boston Collegiate Charter School in Dorchester, MA. She is firmly dedicated to the educational philosophies behind charter schools, and is proud to be part of a community that takes the charge of improving urban education seriously. Prior to moving to Boston in the fall of 2011, Emily was a founding team member of New Heights Academy Charter School, opened in 2006, in New York City. Emily is committed to becoming an educated and effective teacher leader, and is currently finishing a fellowship with the National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education. Emily earned her BA in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis and her MA in English Education from New York University.

Sean McAdam

Sean currently teaches 7th grade math, English language arts, and reading interventions to students with significant learning disabilities and mild intellectual impairments. He began his career in the Boston Public Schools seven years ago as a speech pathologist at the Orchard Gardens Pilot School, working with students with autism, multiple physical and cognitive disabilities, and language-based learning disabilities. He transitioned into the role of Evaluation Team Facilitator, coordinating and chairing all IEP meetings. During the time, he and the school guidance counselor created and co-chaired a Student Support Team that followed a Response to Intervention model. He completed the Pathways Program for Moderate Disabilities licensure and became a special education classroom teacher at the Edwards Middle School. There, he has served as the 7th grade math data facilitator, special education team leader, and school-wide data facilitator. He has also worked with the secondary math office to create a scope and sequence for Grade 6 mathematics that aligned with the Common Core State Standards and co-facilitated professional development at Boston summer PD institute. Sean holds a BA in psychology and a BS in communication disorders from Boston University and an MS in communication sciences and disorders from the MGH Institute of Health Professions.

Julian A. McNeil

Julian leads the mathematics department and teaches upper-level courses at Boston Green Academy, a progressive in-district charter school that opened in 2011. As a tenacious results-oriented teacher, Julian is committed to ensuring that all students, especially underrepresented minorities, graduate prepared to succeed in competitive four-year colleges and twenty-first century workplaces. Outside of the classroom, Julian empowers students through the Historically Black College and University Ambassador Program and the Gay-Straight Alliance. In addition, Julian mentors pre-service teachers in the Harvard Teacher Education Program and serves as a fellow for Focus on Mathematics. Julian’s research interests include: (1) preparing pre-service teachers to become critically conscious educator-activists in urban schools; and (2) customizing, implementing, evaluating, and refining research-based best practices in urban schools. He earned a Master of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Hampton University. He is a proud alumnus of Fenway High School and the Boston Public Schools.

Marlena Montenez

Marlena has been working with urban middle school students since the age of 17. Fifteen years later she still loves middle school students! Currently this is her second year with Cambridge Public Schools and is teaching eighth grade Algebra at the Vassal Lane Upper Campus. Prior to CPS she earned her A.B. from Mount Holyoke College and M.Ed. through Boston Plan For Excellence: Boston Teacher Residency Program. Marlena continued to teach in Boston Public Schools for six years following BTR. Additionally, while in BPS she work with the Boston Plan for Excellence on the Mildred Avenue Middle School Data Team and worked to obtain her administration certification licensure at the middle school level. Marlena is passionate about middle school culture and the use of data to inform instruction.

Brittany Morse

Brittany is third grade teacher at Brooke Charter School in Roslindale. As a 2008 Teach For America corps member, she taught K-5 special education at Indian Hills Elementary School in Gallup, New Mexico. Brittany holds a B.A. in Psychology from Wesleyan University, and a Masters of Education from the Boston College-Lynch School of Education.

Michael Phaneuf

Michael Phaneuf is a Founding Special Education Teacher and Cohort Leader at UP Academy Charter School of Boston. He has been teaching English for the past two years in two substantially separate classrooms of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders with a variety of special education designations. After graduating Babson College in 1998 with a B.A in Business Administration, Michael worked for EF Education in both their educational travel and au pair divisions in sales, internet marketing, finance, and management. He continued working in Corporate America for five more years in a variety of different managerial roles before starting his career in education. He graduated from the Boston Teacher Residency Program in 2009 and taught Math and Science for two years at Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot School in special education classrooms. During that time, he was selected to speak at the University of Michigan, presenting his research on highly effective teaching strategies of first year math teachers. Currently, he continues to be involved with the Boston Teacher Residency Alumni Board and affinity groups while teaching at UP Academy.

Amanda Schreckengaust

Amanda teaches science to elementary school students at the Roger Clap Innovation School, the first Boston Public School to be awarded Innovation status. Amanda is a member of the Instructional Leadership Team and the lead teacher for the team of specialist teachers. Amanda has been teaching in urban public schools for the past ten years – in 2002 she was the founding science teacher for the Brooke Charter Schools and later taught middle school science and high school chemistry at Boston Preparatory Charter Public School. Amanda has a passion for science education and has developed science curricula to best drive student achievement. Amanda received an M. Ed. focused on Teacher Leadership from Harvard University, and she holds a B.A. in biology from Tufts University. Currently, Amanda is pursuing her special education teaching license to best serve all students.

Anita Sintes

Anita Sintes is a Spanish Kindergarten teacher in the dual language program at the Dever-McCormack K-8 School in Dorchester. She also serves as the Kindergarten Team Leader, Instructional Leadership Team member and Dual Language Team member. Previously to teaching in Boston Public Schools, she was a literacy instructional coach for Education Development Center (EDC) where she supported early childhood teachers’ understanding and implementation of research-based practices as part of an Early Reading First Grant. Prior to EDC, she was an early childhood teacher in an intergenerational literacy program through the Boston University/Chelsea Public Schools partnership. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida where she was a McNair Scholar, an Ed.M. in International Educational Development from Boston University and an Ed.M. from the University of Massachusetts through the Boston Teacher Residency Program.

Catherine Tighe

Catherine is kindergarten teacher in the Somerville Public Schools. This is her fifth year at this school, and this year she is teaching many dual language learners through an integrated Sheltered English Emersion Program classroom. Working as the teacher tri-chair of the School Site Council, she has worked to design, implement, and assess a unification plan that has consolidated four programs within the school into one. She has led groups in the unification plan including essential experiences, which are out of school experiences that lead to hands on learning. She also designed, organizes, and runs a peer observation group that is implemented monthly in her school. Outside of her school work, she developed and co-coordinates an Early Childhood Consortium that brings together community members who work in different early childhood education capacities to discuss teaching dilemmas, student work, and any other topics that benefit from colleague input.

Paul Tritter

Paul teaches IB English Language Arts, ESL and AVID at Snowden, where he also serves as the school Literacy Facilitator and on the Instructional Leadership Team. From 2007-2010, he coordinated the Calderwood Writing Center at Snowden, a unique collaboration between the Calderwood Writing Initiative, Snowden, and Emerson College. In 2011-12, Paul studied the professional learning of teachers and teacher teamwork in the Learning and Teaching, Instructional Leadership program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he was awarded the Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award. Paul is dedicated to the idea that the best way to sustainably improve schools is to engage teachers in supportive, collaborative investigation of their practice. He believes that a focus on inquiry and collaboration is central to creating cultures of meaningful learning for both students and teachers. Outside of schools, Paul has worked as a cook at Craigie Street Bistro and Craigie on Main in Cambridge, and produced the award-winning independent film Easy Listening.

Rhiannon Varmette

Rhiannon is a second-grade Sheltered English Immersion teacher at Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School in Boston. In her role as a T3 teacher leader, Rhiannon facilitates the second grade team and the writing committee, which has worked on aligning the school’s approach to writing instruction. Rhiannon taught in Spain as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant and she’s proficient in Spanish. Rhiannon is a New York City Teaching Fellows alumna and holds a M.S. in Childhood Education from Brooklyn College and a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University.

Marcus Walker

Marcus Walker teaches history at Excel High School in South Boston. He has taught U.S. History 1 and African American Music Studies, a senior elective, for the past nine years. Since 2011 he has served as Excel’s History Department facilitator. Marcus has worked closely with Harvard's Teacher Education Program - serving as a mentor teacher to interns during the Cambridge-Harvard Summer Academy as well as during the regular academic year. He is also an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, teaching a summer course titled Power in Urban Classrooms. Marcus began his professional career at the Boston-based documentary film production company, Blackside Inc., best known for its award-winning production of the landmark civil rights series, Eyes On the Prize. He received his B.A. in mass communications from the State University of New York College at Oswego, an M.A. in visual and media arts from Emerson College, and is a Teach Next Year graduate, earning an M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Christopher Wright

Christopher is in his ninth year of teaching at Everett High School, where he has taught honors and regular sections of grades 9 and 12 English, as well as MCAS Prep and an elective he developed named Truth In Fiction. Additionally, Chris has served for the past four years as a district mentor to new teachers and was recently Chair of his school's NEASC Core Values Committee. This current year, Chris is also working with the Massachusetts DESE on the development of Model Curriculum Units aligned to Common Core Standards. Christopher holds a B.A. in English from Boston University and an Ed.M. in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard Graduate School of Education. He lives with his wife in East Boston. Their first child, a daughter, will be born in May.