Model & Strategy

The Problem
Teachers are the most important school-based factor in education, and their diversity, preparation, development, and support are all central levers for change. Every year, a prepared, effective teacher accelerates short-term and long-term student outcomes. For example, a highly effective teacher can raise a child’s cumulative lifetime income by $80K per year on average, and having just one Black teacher by third grade increases Black students’ college enrollment likelihood by 13%. However, urban public schools have long struggled to consistently recruit, support, and retain diverse, well-prepared teachers, resulting in inequitable opportunities and outcomes for our underserved students (majority Black, Hispanic/Latinx).

Even before the pandemic, underserved schools lost 20% of faculty annually, and novice teachers with little preparation tended to leave teaching at two to three times the rates of their peers (with 72% of novice teachers reporting that their programs did not prepare them to work in city classrooms, per one Temple University study). Additionally, the workforce share of Black educators declined in many major U.S. cities from 2002-2012, and numbers have continued to lag relative to student populations. Since COVID, the sector has navigated amplified academic and social-emotional needs alongside a widened teacher workforce gap (including current teachers indicating increased propensity to leave, ongoing school staffing shortages, and a nationwide teacher recruitment downturn). Responsive pipeline investments are essential to create and scale change.

The Solution
City Teaching Alliance launched a cohesive teacher development program in 2010 that bridges the divide between preparation and the classroom. They have since evolved to directly address COVID’s seismic, growing impact on the teaching workforce by increasing near-term classroom capacity and building a network of effective career educators. Following strategic recruitment, their teacher candidates engage in a rigorous, multi-year model designed for urban schools and communities, including

  • 1) a yearlong residency co-teaching alongside certified host teachers;
  • 2) a three-year post-residency service commitment;
  • 3) two years of practice-driven master’s degree coursework in partnership with American University;
  • 4) three years of side-by-side coaching;
  • 5) four years of local wraparound support (from finances to mental health); and
  • 6) full dual (content and special education) licensure only after multiple years of demonstrated classroom success.

The Alliance’s program has produced extremely promising results and growing investments in teacher diversity, well-being, and preparation. They seek to prove that deep, prolonged teacher support and a concerted focus on community-specific preparation will result in increasing numbers of effective, inclusive, and empowering career educators and that this sustained investment can take place within a sustainable financial model with decreasing core program reliance on philanthropy (with an ambitious long-term target of less than 20%).

At a Glance
Founded: 2009
Location of work: Domestic, Northeast
City Teaching Alliance
Baltimore, MD
Take charge of your teaching journey.
Meet Christina Hall & Jennifer Green

Christina Hall started her work as an advocate for disadvantaged youth as an attorney in the Boston Juvenile Court and at the Department of Social Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Motivated by a desire to intervene earlier in the lives of the youth she advocated for, Christina earned a masters degree in education and began to focus her practice on inequities in urban public schools. Christina has served as a public high school teacher and as a program officer in Boston and Baltimore. Prior to launching City Teaching Alliance (formerly Urban Teachers), Christina focused on policy and practice inequities and improving instructional practice in the Baltimore City Public Schools as the chief of staff for the Chief Academic Officer. In this role she oversaw 200 schools and an $800M operating budget.

Prior to launching City Teaching Alliance (formerly Urban Teachers), Jennifer Green was the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Baltimore City’s public high schools; in this role she observed first-hand the disparity in the quality of teaching from classroom to classroom. Jennifer served as the Director for High School Reform for the Fund for Educational Excellence, where she managed a $21 million budget financed by The Gates Foundation and other local foundations.  In 2004 Jennifer was named by the Baltimore Business Journal as one of Baltimore City’s “Top 40 under 40.”


Over 2,400 aspiring teachers placed in Baltimore, Dallas, D.C., and Philadelphia as of 2022, serving ~340,000 students

Nearly 350 schools impacted by program participants and alumni in the 2022-2023 school year

70% of 2022 cohort members are people of color (57% Black and/or Hispanic or Latinx)

90% of first-year teachers rated as prepared by principal survey respondents

Nearly 70% of first-year teachers persisted into their third year of teaching in their cities during the COVID-19 pandemic