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PROSE (Progressive Redesign Opportunity Schools for Excellence)


Founded 10 years ago, the PROSE program currently has 217 schools in it. 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.

Applications are now open for the 2024-25 cohort

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.

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 accepts 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% of UFT members at the school who vote on the proposal.

See the PROSE brochure

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 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 school 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.

Creating an Option PROSE Structured Review Plan


Is your school interested in joining PROSE Plus?
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PROSE 10th Anniversary Memory Book

In honor of PROSE’s 10th anniversary, the UFT created a “memory book” that celebrates a decade of innovation and collaboration in the 217 PROSE schools.

Download A Decade of PROSE

Our 10th Anniversary Memory Book looks back on the last 10 years of PROSE success stories.

Download now

What's New

'Giving control to the people doing the work'

The Progressive Redesign Opportunity Schools for Excellence (PROSE) program, which affords schools the freedom to experiment and innovate, is marking its 10th anniversary this school year. Nearly 300 teachers, chapter leaders and principals from the...

Time for projects

Central Park East II, which has participated in PROSE for all 10 years of its existence, has used the freedom that the program affords to embrace project-based learning, change its teacher evaluation system and more.

‘A game-changer’

Thanks to the PROSE program, Concord HS, a transfer high school for students ages 16 to 21 on Staten Island, has been able to revamp its school hours to meet the needs of its unique student population, who have not thrived in a traditional high...