The National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS) is a non-profit organization founded by the American Montessori Society (AMS) in 2012, and now operating independently, to advance public Montessori programs. NCMPS launched as a comprehensive resource for information and support related to public Montessori, helping to start schools, providing workshops and coaching, giving public testimony, implementing the Montessori Census, and much more.
Between 2012 and 2015, NCMPS identified two key obstacles to the expansion of fully implemented Montessori:
- The chronic shortage of well-prepared Montessori teachers to work in public schools.
- The challenges of implementing high-fidelity Montessori in a policy environment often at odds with the core elements of the approach. Challenges include funding for three and four year-olds, regulations regarding class size and student-teacher ratios, and assessment protocols.
NCMPS now focuses on “teachers, tools, and schools”, working in three areas:
- Addressing the teacher shortage through coordinated talent development programs such as the Montessori Teacher Residency.
- Assisting new and existing schools in fostering cultures of continuous improvement through coaching and workshops.
- Developing and sharing resources such as the Developmental Environmental Rating Scale (DERS), the Essential Elements Rubric, and the Teacher Appraisal Instrument, designed to assist schools as they move toward full implementation.