The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Thursday announced its biggest education donation in a decade, $290 million, in support of three school districts and five charter groups working to transform how teachers are evaluated and how they get tenure.
A separate $45 million research initiative will study 3,700 classroom teachers in six cities, including New York, seeking to answer the question that has puzzled investigators for decades: What, exactly, makes a good teacher effective?
The twin projects represent a rethinking of the foundation’s education strategy, previously focused largely on smaller grants intended to remake troubled American high schools. With these new, larger grants, the foundation is seeking to transform teacher management policies in four cities in hopes that the innovations can spread.
The foundation committed $100 million to the Hillsborough County, Fla., schools; $90 million to the Memphis schools; $40 million to the Pittsburgh public schools. Some $60 million will go to five charter management organizations based in Los Angeles: Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, Aspire Public Schools, Green Dot Public Schools, Inner City Education Foundation and Partnerships to Uplift Communities Schools.
Now that the Gates foundation is “rethinking” its previous “small learning community” grants, will local thinking change on the same?
In my view, we as a community should do everything we can to hire (and pay) the best teachers. That does, as the Gates Foundation recognizes via this grant, require changes to the current UAW teacher union model…..