PROSE (Progressive Redesign Opportunity Schools for Excellence)
Since its founding under the 2014 contract, 175 schools have been accepted into the PROSE initiative. The standard for acceptance is very high, but if your school is a place where the full community has a voice in solving challenges, you should apply.
PROSE stands for Progressive Redesign Opportunity Schools for Excellence. It is a program predicated on the UFT’s core belief that schools work best when all members of the community feel respected and the word “collaboration” is not just a cliché.
PROSE is about school-level innovations. It offers schools the ability to alter some of the most basic parameters by which they function including the way teachers are hired, evaluated and supported; the way students and teachers are programmed; the handling of grievances; and certain city and state regulations. Schools in the program explore and implement a variety of innovations at their schools.
One of our most popular innovations is Option PROSE. Option PROSE allows teachers who select it to focus on a specific aspect of their teaching. At the end of the year, these teachers share their their work in a structured review that becomes part of their observation rating. Other schools have used four-day teachers to extend the school day for students; distributed leadership structures to foster shared decision-making, teacher-driven professional development to bring students into the work; very innovative scheduling; and smart approaches to small-group instruction. In one school, a new approach to special education gives high schoool students the ability to meet with their content teachers for small-group instruction. These are just a few of the kinds of things PROSE schools do.
The key to a successful PROSE application is to propose initiatives that are driven by teachers and leaders working in a fully collaborative community focused on excellence for students. Schools have to develop an initial plan with their school community and School Leadership Team. Then the union and the DOE work together as a panel to vet proposals. Ultimately, the panel only accept plans from schools that have both a proven record of collaboration and the potential to have a real impact on student achievement. Finally, accepted plans have to win the approval of at least 65 percent of UFT members at the school who vote on the proposal.
Is your school interested in joining PROSE Plus? Learn more »