The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have awarded a three-year grant totaling $1.5 million, in support of the “Effective Teacher in Every Classroom” core initiative of the district’s Strategic Direction.
The grant comes on the heels of a $6 million grant in September from the Houston-based Laura and John Arnold Foundation. During a workshop this morning, the HISD Board of Education accepted the funds through the HISD Foundation, which will serve as the fiscal agent for the grant.
“Nothing we can do for our students matters more than giving them effective teachers,” said HISD Superintendent Terry B. Grier. “We’re doing some of the most innovative work in the country to transform the way we find, develop and retain talented teachers. The new teacher appraisal system we’re building will give teachers an accurate picture of their strengths and weaknesses in the classroom and identify a clear path toward greater success.”
HISD is partnering with The New Teacher Project (TNTP), a national nonprofit organization founded by teachers, to implement the five-year Effective Teacher in Every Classroom initiative. Over the next five years, TNTP will work with HISD to improve teacher recruitment and selection systems, design a new teacher appraisal system, improve teacher professional development programs, and create career pathways within the district for the most successful teachers. The grant will primarily support the development of a new teacher appraisal system, an effort that is currently underway in the district.
Over the last two months, more than 250 school-based Shared Decision-Making Committees have submitted recommendations that will become the basis of the district’s new teacher appraisal system. The district has also created a website, www.HISDeffectiveteachers.org, where community members can read updates about the initiative and submit feedback on the latest recommendations from the appraisal system design process.