2014 Annual Letter

Dear Friends of Match Education,

Last Saturday, after two years of perhaps the most rigorous teacher training in America, members of the Sposato Graduate School of Education Class of 2014 earned a Master’s degree in Effective Teaching.  We are immensely proud of them as they set out, on solid footing, for long-term teaching careers.

The letter below highlights the past year here at Sposato Graduate School of Education.   It was our best ever, we think.  You will notice below that we have expanded into training instructional leaders and that our graduate school remains closely integrated at Match Education with our preK-12 charter schools and our work to share nationally what we are learning in our schools and graduate school.

On behalf of everyone here, thank you for all you have done to make our work possible.  Please come visit any time.


All the best,

Orin Gutlerner
Co-Director, Sposato GSE

Scott McCue
Co-Director, Sposato GSE

Stig Leschly
CEO, Match Education


Domain 1: Teacher Preparation

Since our inception, our primary goal has been to prepare extraordinary first-year teachers. We use the following metrics to assess our success:


After a rigorous selection process involving writing samples, a battery of interviews, and a sample lesson, we accept 17% of applicants. Sposato is one of the most selective graduate schools of education in the country1:

B. Employer Demand

100% of our students receive a job offer from a high-performing, high-poverty school by the conclusion of their first year at Sposato.  Many of our students receive multiple offers, and each employer pays Sposato $7,000 per hire, a fee that helps fund our work and keeps us accountable to our employers.

Most graduate schools of education do not publicize their job placement data. The exhibit below includes all US News Top 10 graduate schools of education that report this data2:


Our teachers accept positions in high-poverty urban schools.  75% teach in Eastern Massachusetts.

Note: the numbers in parentheses represent the number of Cohort 5 teachers in a given location.

Note: the numbers in parentheses represent the number of Cohort 5 teachers in a given location.

C. Classroom Effectiveness

The teachers we train drive student achievement in high-needs classrooms. On average, the students taught by our teachers achieve a student growth percentile of 643. In other words, students taught by first-year teachers trained at Sposato grow more than 64% of students with comparable academic histories (many of whom are taught by veteran teachers).

Principals, students, and outside expert evaluators agree that our teachers significantly outperform other first-year teachers. The data below reflect the performance of our most recent cohorts3:

D.  National Council on Teacher Quality Assessment Report Card

The National Council on Teacher Quality conducts rigorous annual evaluations of teacher preparation programs across the country.  Their rating of Sposato: A.

The structure of Match’s model for imparting instructional and management skills and assuring that they have been mastered can truly be described as a best practice in teacher preparation of any kind. We also commend its use of a variety of outcomes measures to provide information on the performance and effectiveness of its graduates.
— National Council on Teacher Quality

Domain II: Leader Training

We believe that the key to effective teacher development is strong instructional leadership.  Over the past year, Sposato has expanded into preparing school leaders. 

A. New Orleans: Training New Teacher Coaches

In 2013, thanks to the support of New Schools for New Orleans, we began providing intensive support to instructional leaders.  In 2014-2015, we are coaching 15 school leaders across 5 different schools.  100% of principals "strongly agreed" that instructional coaches who received Match coaching became more effective and that teacher growth was positively impacted.

Using the Match model of coaching instructional leaders has created a shift in the culture of achievement for leaders, teachers, and students in our building. Because of the Match model implementation, we have a strategic process in place with the RIGHT action steps to improve teacher efficacy and increase student achievement.
— Krista Patrick, Academic Dean, ARISE Academy, New Orleans

B. Boston: Preparing School Turnaround Leaders

In Boston, Sposato is now partnering with UP Education Network to train school leaders to restart chronically underperforming district schools.  We are shadowing Directors of Curriculum and Instruction for a week at a time as they observe and coach teachers in order to provide them with actionable feedback about their coaching.

C. Executive Education

We provide training to a broad audience of school leaders to help them improve their teacher coaching practices.  In partnership with Lynch Leadership Academy, we train Boston Public School principals and other leaders.  

Our partnership with Match has allowed our Lynch Leadership Fellows to learn the teacher coaching practices that Match has developed in their graduate school. This experience has translated clearly to better student and teacher performance in the schools where our Leadership Fellows work.
— Thaly Germain, Executive Director, Lynch Leadership Academy

Domain III: dissemination

Across all bodies of work at Match Education, we seek to share with school districts, graduates schools of education, and other stakeholders the new ideas and practices that we uncover.  We call this work Match Export. 

A. Massive Open online Courses

We have developed two MOOCs: “Surviving Your Rookie Year of Teaching” and “Coaching Teachers: Promoting Changes that Stick.”  Through Coursera, 64,000 people around the world--most of them teachers or school leaders--have registered for one of these MOOCs.

B. Books

Our first book, Phoning Parents, offers gritty guidance -- particularly to teachers -- on how to build and leverage parent relationships.  We have distributed 4,000 copies of the book.  Written by our founder, Michael Goldstein, It is available on Amazon.com.


  1. Source: U.S. News & World Report
  2. Source: U.S. News & World Report
  3. Over the past several years, our approach to measuring effectiveness has evolved.  For each measure, we have averaged the data from all years where we used the measure in its current form.  Principal Evaluations: Principals rate our teachers and other rookie teachers in their schools at the end of the school year.  Principal Evaluations reflect data from 2010-2014.  Student Evaluations: Students complete anonymous surveys regarding our teachers.  MTR graduates are compared to a control group of rookie teachers from the Achievement First network of schools.  Outside Expert Evaluations: We conduct a blind evaluation of MTR graduates when they have been teaching in their various schools for 4 to 7 months.  The evaluators--school leaders and master teachers--observe and score a lesson based upon an internally developed rubric we have calibrated them on.  The evaluators do the same for other first-year teachers in the same school who came from elsewhere (TFA, Harvard GSE, etc.). The evaluators do not know which teachers are MTR graduates.  Outside Expert Evaluations reflect data from 2010-2014.
  4. 64 is the average of the student growth percentiles achieved by teachers in schools where it is possible to obtain this data.  The data are not available in certain states.