Teaching Matters, Inc.

Great Teachers. Bright Futures

aka Teaching Matters   |   New York, NY   |  http://www.teachingmatters.org


Teaching Matters is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to providing high impact professional learning experiences for urban school systems. We envision a nation where every student has equitable access to excellent teaching, regardless of zip code. Our mission is to close the opportunity gap of a radically unequal education system for under-served and historically marginalized children.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Lynette Guastaferro

Main address

475 Riverside Dr Suite 1600

New York, NY 10115 USA

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NTEE code info

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Management & Technical Assistance (B02)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

For over 25 years, Teaching Matters has supported New York City (NYC) public schools, the largest, most complex school district in the country, serving primarily low-income Black and Latino K-12 students. Deep inequities exist for Black, Latinx, and other students of color served by Teaching Matters. 61.5% of non-economically disadvantaged students scored proficient on the ELA exam in 2019, as compared to 51% of economically disadvantaged students, demonstrating a disparity in relation to income. In terms of ethnicity, 44% of Black and Latinx students were proficient, as compared to 69% of White and Asian students. Further, across the city, only 4% of English language learners achieve proficiency on the ELA examination.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Math Matters, Literacy Matters

Next generation standards are rigorous. When students have diverse learning needs, educators need deep, content-specific knowledge, instructional strategies to master complicated teaching standards, and ample opportunities for feedback and instruction. Meanwhile, school leadership is accountable for high-quality teachers across all grades and subjects throughout the entire school.

Teaching Matters’ content-based coaching services improve instructional capacity across the building in high-needs schools. Our subject-specific experts partner directly with teachers, teacher leaders and school leaders to develop deeper content knowledge and master instructional strategies that lead to better student outcomes.

93% of teachers participating in these programs report an improvement in data practices. 100% of principals report improvement in teaching practice.

Population(s) Served

Early Reading Matters (ERM) is our competency-based solution for advancing success in K-2 literacy in urban schools. Given the poor odds of academic success for students who are not good readers by grade 3, teachers have an enormous responsibility to ensure that children leave their classrooms as grade-level proficient readers. Teaching Matters makes best practices more accessible to teachers so that children in high poverty schools have equitable access to effective reading instruction.

Additionally, to meet the early literacy needs of students post-pandemic school shutdowns and of educators who require immediate support, Teaching Matters created Jumpstart to Equitable Early Reading (Jumpstart). It is a 10 week targeted intervention, based on ERM, designed to bring the youngest non-readers to grade reading level. In 20 NYC schools, 83% of the students who went through this program became readers in ten weeks!

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

@School Anytime is a culturally responsive online professional development program for teachers and leaders. It is focused on seven competencies critical for leading and teaching in a blended environment. The program includes 30 webinars and 21 mini-courses for educators to acquire the skills they need to navigate the remote learning landscape.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Elevating Voices is an online national program bringing students together through texts written by authors of color to spotlight the lived experiences of children of color. Both the teacher and student-facing content are meant to “elevate” the voices of historically marginalized people to make their experiences visible and their voices heard through various readings and activities. The content spans from elementary to secondary levels and is intended to foster engaging remote instruction and support teachers with blended teaching.

The program addresses social issues of race and racism and encourages teachers to build social justice-oriented action into their instruction. It is structured to help teachers have difficult race conversations and use protocols that are both culturally responsive and foster anti-racist education.

The content integrates social studies with supplemental readings, embeds text dependent guiding questions for each chapter and supports discussion and writing in response to the readings. Videos, research articles, and additional readings for teacher professional development are incorporated. Also built in is student-facing content that teachers can use and import directly into their learning platform for remote instruction.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children achieving language and literacy proficiency

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Early Reading Matters

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Metric unavailable in school year 2019 - 2020 due to Covid 19 pandemic

Number of teachers trained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served


Related Program

Early Reading Matters

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Teaching Matters is a nationally recognized professional learning organization dedicated to increasing teacher effectiveness, a critical factor in student success. We envision a nation where every child has access to excellent teaching, regardless of zip code.

We have been an early leader in the nationwide effort to recognize, identify and support teacher leadership as a critical capacity building lever for increased teacher effectiveness, improved student achievement, elevated teacher voice and advanced data-driven practice, as well as effective distributed leadership models in school systems.

Our organization offers professional learning and resources that (1) develop teacher leaders and (2) increase their capacity to lead the charge in increasing teacher effectiveness school-wide. Integral to this process is having qualified teachers collaborate with their peers, in teams and under the guidance of our coaches, to investigate and solve instructional problems – deepening their skills as educators. Principals, themselves, have daunting jobs. As a result, they are limited in taking on the professional learning needs of their entire instructional staff without outside support. Ultimately, schools not only develop but sustain the ability to facilitate professional learning, strengthen teacher quality and improve student outcomes via the teacher leaders that our organization helps to develop.

A series of strategic investments in teacher leadership in recent years has positioned our organization to take center stage in nationwide efforts to advance teacher quality and performance. Beyond our work with schools, districts and systems to develop and implement scalable models for teacher leader support, we have taken a commanding role in advocating for the empowerment of teacher leaders to drive school improvement and communicating its importance to increasingly larger audiences.

Our educational model is built upon research-based and data driven methods: fostering collaboration, cultivating teacher leaders and using evidence to improve student results. Teaching Matters takes a whole-school approach, partnering with school leaders, and providing intensive educator support. We target our efforts where there is the greatest need and potential to make a difference.

Strong support in content and pedagogy that is responsive to the Common Core is at the center of our work. Our organization's coaches regularly support the following field-based activities:

• Institutes: The teachers and teacher leaders that we reach regularly take part in sessions that provide grounding in effective professional learning community (PLC) practices as well as the tools and protocols needed to lead high functioning teams in building collaborative culture, analyzing data and student work, analyzing teacher practice and establishing high quality common formative assessments (tied to essential Common Core standards).
• Onsite Coaching: Teachers who take part in our program often receive job-embedded support from a Teaching Matters achievement coach who is a content specialist. Coaching also focuses on supporting teacher leaders in leading effective PLCs and earning micro-credentials related to this work.
• Personalized Feedback: One vehicle is via access to a series of online modules housed in the Teaching Matters learning management system (LMS). These modules include (1) extensive resources around teacher leader competencies and the work of leading high-functioning PLCs toward improved Common Core guided instruction, and (2) a digital platform for receiving one-on-one evidenced-based responses to their Teaching Matters coach. Further, we provide verbal feedback as part of the coaching process.

Teaching Matters brings deep knowledge, experience and a commitment to effective support for schools and school districts that is grounded in both research-based professional learning practices as well as two-plus decades of experience working in urban public schools. In New York City, where our organization is headquartered, we are among the top 10 professional development service providers. As the nation's largest and most complex school district, the City has long served as a “projects incubator" in which we test-implement, validate and spread our ideas. Over the last 25 years, we have:

• Worked with over 1,600 schools to advance academic achievement;
• Coached approximately 38,000 teachers to improve teaching and learning;
• Affected the learning of 672,000 students;
• The City's most recent data indicates that we have supported more than 1 out of every 4 schools with extreme
poverty in NYC.

Our success is due to the high level of competency within our multidisciplinary staff and leadership. This includes our management team which has collectively advanced K-12 public education practice and outcomes for 100-plus years. Moreover, we have a distributed leadership model that not only includes our managers but senior coaches, who are strong instructional leaders. Further, our team of over 50 coaches provides top tier professional development to thousands of educators with the goal of strengthening teacher effectiveness and leadership to improve student achievement across disciplines. In addition to possessing at least a master's degree in education and at least five to seven years of teaching and/or administrative experience (preferred in local public schools), all are strong instructional leaders.

Teaching Matters' active Board of Directors consists of widely regarded leaders in both the education and business sectors. An Advisory Faculty has also been instrumental to the work we are conducting today. Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University, was a founding member. The Faculty has included: Beth Lief, President, Petrie Foundation; Kim Marshall, Author of Rethinking Teacher Supervision and Evaluation: How to Work Smart, Build Collaboration, and Close the Achievement Gap; and Dr. Alan M. Lesgold, Professor and Dean, University of Pittsburgh School of Education.

Hovering around $7 million, our annual operating budget is driven by needs of our educational programming and provides a realistic framework for spending. Further, we have established processes and controls for the safeguarding of assets and other financial matters.

Our strength is based on an unwavering focus on mission and our ability to recognize and respond to urgent needs that emerge. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, we banded together quickly and halted all programmatic activity. We redeployed our team to aid schools in transitioning to remotely educate 1.1 million students. We responded in real time to help our teachers and most vulnerable students adapt to the school shutdown, and within a few weeks, provided seven weeks of student-facing content for teachers grappling with the challenges of remote learning and created 20 free webinars for teachers and principals. 103,000 educators in all 50 states were able to access these lessons.

Now that school is no longer remote, we are seeing the effects of the disruption firsthand. We have adapted our programs to address the unfinished learning driven by school shutdowns.

In 2015, we launched Early Reading Matters (ERM), a researched-based solution for advancing K-2 literacy success. The program develops teachers' key instructional competencies so that they can rise to the challenge of closing the reading gap by the end of grade 2. ERM has demonstrated significant reading level proficiency gains, across all grades, in high-poverty public schools, largely in The Bronx.

Our primary goal is to improve children's access to effective instruction during the critical K-2 years for longer term returns. ERM is demonstrating significant reading level proficiency gains across all grades, in high-poverty NYC public schools. Last year, the implementation of ERM resulted in a 60% and 46% increase respectively, in the percent of first and second grade students that met instructional-level expectations (Research for Action, 2018).

Now, in order to meet the early literacy needs of children post pandemic school shutdowns, and of educators who require immediate support to their needs, Teaching Matters created Jumpstart to Equitable Early Reading (Jumpstart), a 10-week intervention designed to “Jumpstart” early reading. This innovative approach grew out of our evidence-based early literacy model, Early Reading Matters (ERM).

Additionally, we developed Elevating Voices, which is a national, online K-12 program designed to address issues of race, racism and systemic social injustice and encourage teachers to build social justice-oriented action into their instruction.

We seek to build upon accomplishments as follows:

Engaging in strategic innovation for existing service delivery and growth – Our greatest need is for financial resources that give us the flexibility to both continue and innovate our existing programs – including engaging in the robust research and development that is required to improve professional learning opportunities for schools and districts.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In an effort to evolve our Assessment Matters service to better meet the needs of our partner schools, we interviewed a focus group of 4 principals. We asked for their highest leverage pain points around formative assessment practices and presented them with some of our ideas for evolving our service model, to which they provided specific feedback. Based on this feedback we took an all-inclusive 30 day onsite coaching model and transitioned into four 10-day modules of onsite coaching that includes specific deliverables at the end of each of the 10 day coaching cycles. We also sequenced the offerings so that principals could better choose the service module that best fit their needs.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,


Teaching Matters, Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Teaching Matters, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 01/24/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Dionis Rodriguez

Crimson Rock Capital

Term: 2021 -

Lynette Guastaferro

Teaching Matters

Joseph Lewis

Jefferies Group

Michaël Bijaoui

East Wind Advisors

Alan Lesgold

University of Pittsburgh

Sonny Kalsi


Ingrid Edelman

Interior Design

Julie Engerran


Lance Leener

Tompkins Square Middle School

Edward Friedman (Board Member Emeritus)

Stevens Institute of Technology

Patsy Glazer (Board Member Emeritus)

Dana Creel

Public Relations Consultant

Susan Faxon

Marketing Consultant

Jack Topdjian


Olga Votis

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/24/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/28/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.