Democracy Prep Public Schools - NYU Steinhardt Teacher Residency Program

Democracy Prep Public Schools

Democracy Prep Public Schools (Democracy Prep) is a network of 21 schools around the country. The partnership with the NYU Teacher Residency is in two New York City high schools: one in Harlem, and one in the Bronx. The network’s mission is to ​​educate responsible citizen-scholars for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship.

Democracy Prep began in 2005 with a laser-like civic focus. Still with that focus, it now centers on the idea of empowering the voices of both scholars and staff. Students have more time to learn: they attend academic classes for at least eight hours each day for 190 days each year and are offered additional summer and Saturday academies for extra support. They take a rigorous college-prep curriculum: this means two hours of math, three hours of literacy, one hour of science, and one hour of social studies every day as well as art, theater, music, health, and physical education. High schools offer Korean language, speech and debate, a cappella music, and AP courses for all students. Data-driven decision making and a structured and supportive school culture focus on educating all students. Lastly, the network prioritizes attracting, developing, and retaining exceptional adults. 

Scholarly empowerment is a hallmark of Democracy Prep. Students engage in “get out the vote” campaigns, “change the world” projects, and even write proposals to teachers and administrators to change the curriculum or the school calendar. The network encourages its scholars to get into “good trouble,” a phrase inspired by and attributed to the late US Congressman John Lewis.

Democracy Prep continues to find innovative ways to define what it means to educate all children. One of its signature programs in its high schools is the PACE program. This program offers a specialized education for high school students who require a 15:1 student-to-teacher ratio, as stated in their Individualized Education Plan. The PACE program strengthens the relationships between scholars and teachers. Students receive the instruction they need in an environment in which they will thrive. 

As a teacher with Democracy Prep, your growth and career development are top concerns. The people focus within the network means that there are many different layers of the talent pipeline. If you’re a teacher who excels and wants to stay in the classroom, Democracy Prep has tracks that will enable you to grow in your teaching.  If you want to move into leadership, there are tracks that exist for that as well. More than anything, there is always a team available to work with you, reinforce skills, and collaborate on solutions to any challenges you may experience.  

Student population

55% Black
25% Hispanic
5.5% White
~2.3% American Indian
1.2% Pacific Islander
~.5% Asian


Scholar-to-college counselor ratio


Scholars qualify for free and reduced lunch

337 Seniors

completed 3,900+ applications to 370+ colleges and received 972 acceptances

Charter initiatives

  • Learning acceleration:Democracy Prep is dedicated and determined to help its scholars to engage in rigorous academics. It developed a program of "Accelerated Learning" for its schools to get all scholars on grade level with extra support, tutoring built into the day, response to intervention, and coaching for teachers and school leaders to use student data.
  • Anti-racism and DEI training: The network continues to execute on its 2025 strategic plan, which includes six initiatives, one of which is anti-racism. It is working with the Center for Racial Justice and Equity (CRJE) on an Equity Audit for the entire network. In addition, all school leaders will receive CRJE trainings on race and anti-racism.

The details

  • 30-credit master of arts in teaching (MAT) program
  • Meet online with NYU Steinhardt faculty and peers twice per week in the evening for your course work ~15 hours/week
  • ~40 hours/week in classroom residency at partner location
  • Tuition subsidy and stipend or wage from partner school
  • Two-year commitment following residency required
  • Full-day cost details

During residency year

As a teacher resident, you will work alongside a teacher mentor for the entire school year. Your responsibilities increase as you progress in your teaching abilities. This immersive learning is designed to assist you with understanding your students and their learning process, setting you up to have a class of your own the following year.

Estimated Stipend
Health Insurance Full medical, dental, and vision benefits
Start Date August 2023

After residency year

Job After Graduation Teacher (full time)
Estimated Starting Salary with Master’s Degree $57,500

The figures above are estimates provided by our partners for informational and planning purposes only. NYU Steinhardt does not guarantee these amounts.