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SUNY Student Assembly President Marc J. Cohen and SUNY Trustee endorsed TeachNY, an effort to fight the recent teacher shortage, in a Times Union op-ed earlier this week.

Introduced in May, TeachNY, a joint effort between SUNY and the state Department of Education, aims to reform educator preparation programs and increase diversity among educators statewide. Cohen is a member of the TeachNY Steering Committee.

Read Cohen’s op-ed here.

“Public education is desperately lacking the type of system that exists in legal and medical professions that allows professionals more opportunities to get ahead. ‘Immobility’ shouldn’t be a word associated with education. Teachers making a positive impact in the classroom should be rewarded.”

“Teachers entering public schools today, especially in urban school districts, face significantly more classroom diversity than the educational environment of prior decades. With growing diversity, white students are less than 50 percent of the student population. That number is expected to drop to 46 percent by 2024. Meanwhile, 82 percent of the national teacher population identifies as white. Great teachers aren’t separated by race, yet recruitment fails to attract proportionate demographics to serve an increasingly diverse student population.”

“Along with focusing on recruiting a more diverse spectrum of teachers, the initiative also focuses on recruiting and supporting teachers who work in areas hit by high poverty with a new Urban-Rural Teacher Corps. Any professional who is willing to help children in an area of the state challenged by poverty should be treated like a hero instead of being left behind.”

“With a need for 1.6 million new teachers nationwide within the next decade, New York has the opportunity to set a national benchmark in education reform with TeachNY. As growing challenges have delivered deep blows to public education across the state, TeachNY offers the right solutions to recover stronger than ever before.”

In a previous op-ed on the topic of TeachNY, Cohen discussed the benefits of good teaching. 

Read his first op-ed here.