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  • Relationships are the heart of the TNAA model.
    Students loop with their teachers from Kindergarten through 5th grade building strong personal relationships between students, teachers, and families.
  • TNAA's cutting edge classroom structure was developed at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
    Working as a collaborative team our teachers plan and teach together. This provides high quality instruction at all times.Read more...
  • We teach students from an early age to explore the world around them through collaborative inquiry and an interdisciplinary curriculum.

    This gives them the skills they need to succeed in the world and change it.
  • Our model streamlines spending to ensure that funds are directed into the classroom where they belong.
    This allows us to support a 1:15 teacher student ratio for every child.
  • New American Academy schools are tuition free and open to all.
    Click on apply now to enroll your child today.
  • Each cohort is led by a highly paid experienced Master Teacher who provides mentorship and support to both teachers and students.Read more...
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Wounded by School

Wounded by School: Recapturing the Joy in Learning and Standing Up to Old School Culture by Kirsten Olson
“How do we recognize the ”wounds” caused by outdated schooling policies? How do we heal them? In her controversial new book, education writer and critic Kirsten Olson brings to light the devastating consequences of an educational approach that values conformity over creativity, flattens student’s interests, and dampens down differences among learners. ”

Instructional Rounds Education

Instructional Rounds in Education by Elizabeth A. City, Richard F. Elmore, Sarah E. Fiarman, and Lee Teitel

“Instructional Rounds in Education is intended to help education leaders and practitioners develop a shared understanding of what high-quality instruction looks like and what schools and districts need to do to support it. ”

The Fifth Discipline

The Fifth Discipline by Peter M. Senge
“An MIT Professor’s pathbreaking book on building  ”learning organizations” — corporations that  overcome inherent obstacles to learning and  develop dynamic ways to pinpoint the threats that face  them and to recognize new opportunities. Not only  is the learning organization a new source of  competitive advantage, it also offers a marvelously  empowering approach to work, one which promises that,  as Archimedes put it, ‘with a lever long  enough… single-handed I can move the world.’ ”

Schools That Learn

Schools That Learn: A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents, and Everyone Who Cares About Education by Peter M. Senge, Nelda H. Cambron McCabe, Timothy Lucas, Art Kleiner, Janis Dutton, Bryan Smith
“Bestselling author Peter Senge and his Fifth Discipline team have written Schools That Learn because educators—who have made up a sizable percentage of the audience for the popular Fifth Discipline books—have asked for a book that focuses specifically on schools and education, to help reclaim schools even in economically depressed or turbulent districts. One of the great strengths of Schools That Learn is its description of practices that are meeting success across the country and around the world, as schools attempt to learn, grow, and reinvent themselves using the principles of organizational learning.”

Freedom Inc.

Freedom, Inc.: Free Your Employees and Let Them Lead Your Business to Higher Productivity, Profits, and Growth by Brian M. Carney, Isaac Getz
“The culture of freedom works–and Freedom, Inc. reveals the secrets of a successful business paradigm based on a trusting, nonhierarchical, liberated environment. ”

Linchpin Are You Indispensable

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin 

In LINCHPIN, Seth focuses on BEING rather than DOING. Seth’s compassionate plea is for everyone to “be” an artist – be a Linchpin rather than a cog in the wheel. There is no premium paid for “being” a cog in the wheel. Not just that, your survival is at stake if you continue “being” a cog in the wheel. So, it is not like you have a choice on whether you want to do something different. You don’t have a choice but to start “being” a different person – an artist – someone who creates. The book is BRILLIANT because it’s a wake-up call for most professionals. Wake up call to let them know that they are heading towards a cliff if they continue “being” who they are.

Zapp! The Lightning of Empowerment: How to Improve Productivity, Quality, and Employee Satisfaction by William Byham, Jeff Cox 

“Most managers know that revitalization in their companies must occur from the ground up. But how to get that message to employees without applying the kind of pressure that makes them even less productive? The answer is empowerment. In this motivating book, you will find specific strategies designed to help you encourage responsibility, acknowledgment, and creativity so that employees feel they “own” their jobs. It’s all here, in an accessible guide for the successful managers of tomorrow. ”

Finding Flow

Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Part psychological study, part self-help book, Finding Flow is a prescriptive guide that helps us reclaim ownership of our lives. Based on a far-reaching study of thousands of individuals, Finding Flow contends that we often walk through our days unaware and out of touch with our emotional lives. Our inattention makes us constantly bounce between two extremes: during much of the day we live filled with the anxiety and pressures of our work and obligations, while during our leisure moments, we tend to live in passive boredom. The key, according to Csikszentmihalyi, is to challenge ourselves with tasks requiring a high degree of skill and commitment. Instead of watching television, play the piano. Transform a routine task by taking a different approach. In short, learn the joy of complete engagement. Thought they appear simple, the lessons in Finding Flow are life-altering.

Mans Search for Meaning

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

Is among the most influential works of psychiatric literature since Freud. The book begins with a lengthy, austere, and deeply moving personal essay about Frankl’s imprisonment in Auschwitz and other concentration camps for five years, and his struggle during this time to find reasons to live. The second part of the book, called “Logotherapy in a Nutshell,” describes the psychotherapeutic method that Frankl pioneered as a result of his experiences in the concentration camps. Freud believed that sexual instincts and urges were the driving force of humanity’s life; Frankl, by contrast, believes that man’s deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. Frankl’s logotherapy, therefore, is much more compatible with Western religions than Freudian psychotherapy. This is a fascinating, sophisticated, and very human book. At times, Frankl’s personal and professional discourses merge into a style of tremendous power. “Our generation is realistic, for we have come to know man as he really is,” Frankl writes. “After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips.”

 Principles of Philosophy

Power over Power: What Power Means in Ordinary Life, How It Is Related to Acting Freely, and What It Can Contribute to a Renovated Ethics of Education by David Nyberg

Discusses the nature of power, describes its psychological and social aspects, and speculates about the relationship between power and freedom. 

Toward A Meaningful Life

Toward a Meaningful Life: The Wisdom of the Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneersohn by Simon Jacobson

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, taught in Brooklyn for 44 years, influencing the lives of thousands and receiving accolades from heads of state. Little known outside of Jewish circles, the Rebbe, as Menachem Mendel Schneerson is lovingly known, was a fount of spiritual strength and good sense. Toward a Meaningful Life is an adaptation of his teachings that convey his strong message of love, productivity, education, and virtue, all with the grace of a good and loving God. This is the type of spiritual wisdom that can be turned to again and again.

 Surpassing Sanghai

Surpassing Shanghai: An Agenda for American Education Built on the World’s Leading Systems by Marc S. Tucker (editor) (Author), Linda Darling-Hammond (foreword)


This book answers a simple question: How would one redesign the American education system if the aim was to take advantage of everything that has been learned by countries with the world s best education systems? With a growing number of countries outperforming the United States on the most respected comparisons of student achievement and spending less on education per student this question is critical.

Q: Is The New American Academy a charter school?
A: No, The New American Academy is a school model that could be run in a number of settings, including public, private, or charter. Our flagship school is a NYC Department of Education district school in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, while our 2nd school is a NYSED authorized charter school in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.
Q: How do I bring The New American Academy to my school or district?
A: The New American Academy is currently exploring partnerships both inside and outside the New York City area. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Director of Development Yehudi Meshchaninov at yehudi@thenewamericanacademy.org.
Q: Is The New American Academy only for elementary school?
A: While the principles of transparency, empowerment, collaboration, and reflection are essential to education at any level, we have only developed the model in an elementary school setting at this point. We are currently exploring expansion into middle and high school settings.
Q: When and where was The New American Academy developed?
A: The New American Academy model was developed at the Harvard Graduate School of Education by the nineteenth cohort of the Urban Superintendent Program under the guidance of Professor Richard Elmore. It was brought to the New York City public school system by a member of this cohort, Shimon Waronker, during his time as Chancellor’s Intern under Joel Klein.
Q: How is The New American Academy funded?
A: Both P.S 770 (our flagship school) and TNAACS (charter school) operate on the standard New York Department of Education public school budget. The initial development of The New American Academy was underwritten by a combination of public and private funds, including a $250,000 grant from the New York City Department of Education. We are looking for public and private partners to support the continued development and scale of the model.
Q: How is a model that pays teachers 38% more and has a 15:1 student-teacher ratio affordable or sustainable?
A: The New American Academy model operates on the same per-pupil budget allocation as any other public school. By streamlining administration and investing school resources directly in the classroom, the model eliminates overhead and uses each dollar more efficiently and effectively.
Q: What data confirms The New American Academy’s success?
A: The New American Academy's pilot school is currently in its third operating year. Education professionals including university professors, state and city officials, and union leaders have observed our classrooms and been impressed by our levels of student and parent engagement, high teacher morale, and rigorous pedagogy.
With regards to quantitative data, we are using a number of summative as well as formative measures to follow student progress, including TerraNova exams and Fountas and Pinnell. Next year, our third grade class will take state standardized exams like any other public school. Early results are promising, but it will take some time to build a sample size that will give us definitive data.
In addition, each aspect of The New American Academy model, including looping, teaching teams, master teachers, career ladders, etc, is research-based and being used successfully in classrooms around the world.
Q: Aren’t large open classrooms noisy and chaotic?
A: This is one of the most common questions we receive, and visitors are often surprised by the low noise level in our classrooms. Our warm and happy classrooms are the result of careful planning, strong culture, and established rules and routines. Our mandatory five-week summer training provides each teaching team with the time and support to develop cohesive rules, communication practices, routines, and expectations for their learning community.
Q: Does the model depend on a large open classroom?
A: Not necessarily. While a common open environment is conducive to the transparency, communication and collaboration our model values, we believe that the model can work in other environments.
Q: Is the model scalable?
A: Yes. Each element of our program, including our rigorous hiring process, mandatory five-week summer training program, looped teaching teams, embedded master teachers, career ladder, and teacher evaluation framework, was designed to be replicable and scalable. Based on our experience implementing this theoretical model in our pilot location, The New American Academy is poised to partner with school districts and unions to deploy the model in their communities.
Q: Is there a TNAA curriculum that all classrooms follow?
A: No. The New American Academy classrooms do not follow any one particular curriculum. The model’s collaborative daily ninety minute meetings, teaching teams, embedded master teacher, and looping allow each team to create a curricular plan the best meet the needs of their classroom. This flexibility and freedom ensures that each child receives customized and targeted instruction.
Q: Is student-centered learning appropriate for all environments and populations?
A: Student centered learning builds voice and provides students with the critical thinking and collaborative skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. It is a tragedy that programs that build student voice are not available to children in many disadvantaged communities. We believe that all children deserve a top quality education, and that our students will thrive in an environment with high expectations.
Q: Does The New American Academy service students with special needs?
A: Yes. The New American Academy is an inclusion model, and at a minimum, one member of each four person teaching team is a certified special education teacher. Our four person teaching teams allow for unprecedented levels of differentiation, and all students are given targeted instruction for their level.
However, students with sensory issues or more serious needs may have trouble having their needs met in an inclusion setting, and may require a smaller self-contained special education classroom.
Q: Why do The New American Academy teachers loop with their classes?
A: We believe that good teaching is predicated on good relationships between students, teachers, and families. Looping allows each teaching team to build long-lasting relationships with their students that deepen each year. The stability and continuity of these relationships form the basis of our students' emotional and academic development. Teachers have an intimate knowledge of each student's needs and interests, eliminating the "get-to-know-you" period each fall and allowing for truly personalized teaching. Moreover, teaching the full continuum of elementary school allows each teacher to fully understand the sequence of learning each child experiences in these grades. Considering that student ability levels often range within one classroom, a broad knowledge of curriculum is essential to meet each student's needs.
Q: Why is TNAA based around a four person teacher team?
A: The New American Academy aims to professionalize teaching. Professionals across industries (business, medicine, military) recognize the value of collaboration and teamwork. Research by Harvard University has shown the ideal number of participants in an effective team is four or five. TNAA's four person teacher teams come to the classroom with diverse experience from kindergarten to college classrooms across all subject. Teachers are grouped with particular attention to matching complementary strengths and personalities.
Last updated January 14, 2013
For any P.S.770 questions or comments please e-mail info@thenewamericanacademy.org or call (718) 221-5837
For TNAA charter questions or comments please contact us at (718) 968-6520 / Fax: (718) 968-6521 or at Matthew@thenewamericanacademy.org
For P.S 274 questions or comments please contact us at 718-935-3681 or at Mrg@thenewamericanacademy.org


P.S 770

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TNAA Charter School

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P.S 274


The TNAA Model

The TNAA model is predicated upon the idea that student achievement is directly tied to the quality of teacher instruction. It is only by attracting, developing, and retaining skilled and talent teachers that significant educational progress can be made. As described by a recent McKinsey (2010) study:

The quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its teachers. Research has shown that of all the controllable factors in an education system, the most important by far is the effectiveness of the classroom teacher. The world’s best-performing school systems make great teaching their “north star.” They have strategic and systematic approaches to attract, develop, retain, and ensure the efficacy of the most talented educators—and they make sure great teachers serve students of all socio-economic backgrounds. (p. 5)

Each of the components of the TNAA model listed below was chosen with this ideal in mind.

Read more: The TNAA Model

Career Ladder

Teacher quality is the single greatest determinant of student success. By professionalizing the teaching corps and creating a learning community of mentorship, reflection, and growth our teachers develop at an unprecedented rate. This daily focus on adult empowerment directly leads to high-quality instruction and student achievement. Within each teaching team, pedagogues are given the mentorship and support to improve their practice and advance professionally.

Our four-step career ladder (Apprentice, Associate, Partner, Master) professionalizes teaching with a pay scale ranging from $50,000 to $120,000, plus benefits. By offering competitive salaries, we attract the best and brightest to the classroom. On average, our teachers will make 38% more than comparable NYC DOE teachers; with salaries and responsibilities increasing as they ascend along the career ladder. Promotion is based on comprehensive review of pedagogy, competence and ability, not just test scores or seniority.

Read more: Career Ladder


"Your innovative efforts at The New American Academy are helping to build a brighter future and will serve as a terrific example for other schools."

—President Bill Clinton

"The New American Academy in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York, is creating a powerful, compelling model of what a public school in the new knowledge economy should be. Built on a foundation of teacher collaboration and professional reflection, TNAA is a wonderful place of learning for kids precisely because of its culture of trust and caring."

—Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers

"Innovation is not dead in America education. For all who think it is, I suggest you look at The New American Academy."

Read more: Testimonials

Our Partners

The UFT, which represents approximately 200,000 members, is the sole bargaining agent for most of the non-supervisory educators who work in the New York City public schools.

The New York City Department of Education is the largest system of public schools in the United States, serving about 1.1 million students in nearly 1,700 schools.

Read more: Our Partners