U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan today announced the award of nearly $24.6 million for three grants to improve student achievement by increasing the effectiveness of teachers and principals. Funded under the Supporting Effective Educators Development (SEED) program, projects are awarded to the National Writing Project, New Teacher Center, and Teach for America.
"Effective teachers and principals are so central to boosting student achievement and producing better outcomes for children," Duncan said. "These grants are excellent examples of ways to support teachers and school leaders and develop the next generation of world-class educators."
The National Writing Project, based in Berkeley, Calif., will use its $11.3 million grant to train 3,000 K-12 teacher-leaders in the teaching of writing, who will then conduct professional development for teachers in local schools and districts in all 50 states. They are expected to reach some 12,000 students during the 2012-13 school year. The training will be conducted at intensive summer institutes for teachers on university campuses as well as through online programs. Another focus of the National Writing Project grant is to provide at least 30 hours of professional development in writing instruction throughout the school year for teachers serving high-need students in 100 schools and districts across the country.
The New Teacher Center in Santa Cruz, Calif., will use its award of nearly $4.98 million to support novice teachers and principals in the Hillsborough County Public Schools in Florida. The grant will fund teacher mentor and principal coaches to provide intensive support for each beginning teacher and new principal to ensure that they are having a positive impact on student learning right from the start of their careers. The program will reach 1,200 new teachers in elementary, middle, and senior high schools throughout the county.
Teach for America (TFA), based in New York City, will use its $8.3 million award to support more than 9,000 teachers in high-need schools during the current school year, and recruit, select, train and place up to 5,800 new teachers for the 2012-13 school year. The funds will support summer training institutes for its teachers in eight cities--Atlanta, Chicago, Delta, Miss., Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, and Tulsa--as well as recruitment efforts on college campuses. The project's overarching goal is to improve academic growth for students reached by TFA teachers.
The SEED program is funded through the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011.