The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will invest some $34 million in cooperative initiatives designed to improve teacher-preparation programs’ overall effectiveness.
The Seattle-based philanthropy announced the three-year grants Nov. 18. Gates awarded the funds to five consortia through a competitive process—a change from its former strategy of one-off grants to individual teaching programs.
The winners will use the funding to create “transformation centers” based on four driving principles: developing strong partnerships with school districts; giving teacher-candidates opportunities to refine a specific set of teaching skills; using data for improvement and accountability; and ensuring that faculty and mentors are effective at guiding novices into the profession.
The grantees include:
- TeacherSquared, a center that currently consists mainly of nontraditional preparation programs, including the campuses of the Relay Graduate School of Education; Urban Teachers, which operates programs in the District of Columbia and Baltimore; Boston-based Match Teacher Residency; and the teaching programs offered by the Yes Prep and Aspire charter-management organizations;
- Texas Tech University, which will head the University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation National Center, or U.S. PREP, a consortium of six universities located in Southern states;
- The Massachusetts Department of Education, which will lead the Elevate Preparation, Impact Children (EPIC) center, an effort that will involve all 71 providers in that state; and
- The National Center for Teacher Residencies, which will expand its network of providers using a residency model of preparation that couples a full year of student teaching with slimmed-down coursework