The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced that it will invest $335 million to promote effective teaching as a means to ensure that all students receive a quality education.
Through its Intensive Partnership for Effective Teaching program, the foundation will award grants to Hillsborough County Public Schools in Florida ($100 million), Memphis City Schools ($90 million), Pittsburgh Public Schools ($40 million), and College-Ready Promise ($60 million), a coalition of five public charter school management organizations in Los Angeles. The foundation also announced that it will award $45 million to the Measures of Effective Teaching project to develop, over the next two academic years, measures that will be viewed by teachers, unions, administrators, and policy makers as reliable and credible indicators of a teacher's impact on student achievement.
The culmination of a yearlong competitive application process, the grants will be used to develop and implement new approaches, strategies, and policies aimed at boosting student achievement, with an emphasis on reforming how teachers are recruited, evaluated, supported, retained, and rewarded. Partners in the effort will include the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and their community affiliates.
The grants are part of the Gates Foundation's efforts to ensure that all young people in the United States have the opportunity to earn a degree beyond high school that has real value in today's job market.
"We are convinced that in order to dramatically improve education in America, we must first ensure that every student has an effective teacher in every subject, every school year," said Gates Foundation co-chair Melinda French Gates. "These communities have shown extraordinary commitment to tackling one of the most important educational issues of our time. We must do everything we can to understand what makes teachers effective and cultivate those qualities across the profession, in every school and classroom, so that all students can benefit."