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Fund for the Improvement of Education-Programs of National Significance

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2003 Awards
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Unsolicited Grants

Broad Foundation

Funding: 2-year grant totaling $4.7 million

The Broad Foundation will launch a national website to assist states with the pressing data analysis and reporting needs mandated by the No Child Left Behind legislation. The Foundation will work in collaboration with Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services and Just For The Kids to provide data services for the website. The website will provide value-added data analysis and tools to empower parents, educators, taxpayers and policymakers to use NCLB data to monitor and improve their schools' progress towards the goals of the legislation. This initiative will effectively convert compliance data into easy to understand, actionable information. By providing the data, the tools and the training necessary to use the data, states, schools and parents will increase their capacity to use data to inform their decision-making.

The goals of the project are to: 1) provide all 50-states the opportunity to adopt a special package of data services to immediately assist them with the basic data analysis and reporting needs mandated by Phase One of NCLB; 2) to launch and implement the special data package in over ninety percent of the states by December 2004; 3) launch a publicly accessible website that enables parents, educators, parents, taxpayers, and policymakers to identify trends in state, district and school level disaggregated state academic data, and compare a state's or school's or district's data against meaningful benchmarks.

Greater Educational Opportunities Foundation (GEO)

Funding: 1-year grant of $370,000

Grant funds for this project will assist GEO with parent outreach programs in Denver, Colorado, and Gary, Indiana, that are designed to help with the implementation of the school choice and supplemental educational services provisions of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation. GEO will also assist in planning the national distribution of 100,000 posters informing parents of their opportunities to get supplemental services for their children.

The goal of the project is to increase the number of parents knowledgeable of and using their rights and opportunities provided in NCLB, and to increase the number of supplemental service providers. The project features a "direct to the people" media campaign, a toll-free 800 line, and a website to provide additional access to NCLB information and state-specific services for families. It is expected that the campaign will result in a dramatic increase in the number of parents accessing their school choices and supplemental educational services and consequently serve as a national model showing what should be done in communities nationwide to fully implement NCLB at the local level. GEO has commitments from private foundations to provide additional funds for this project.

Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO)

Funding: 1-year grant of $500,000

Grant funds will provide for the continuation of "Project Clarion." Project Clarion is a high-quality communications and media campaign designed to educate parents about the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, especially in cities with high concentrations of low-income Black families and schools in need of improvement as identified by the State Education Agency (specifically Detroit, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Dallas). Project Clarion's goals are to demystify the provisions offered through NCLB and to work with school districts to simplify the application processes for parents and community members.

Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (Hispanic CREO)

Funding: 1-year grant of $500,000

Project CREO is designed to reach out to 18,000 at-risk children in five critical urban communities, in three states with high concentrations of Hispanics. The identified urban communities are: Miami, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Camden. The project is designed to reach families most in need and those children most at risk by establishing parent, community and school resource operations with the goal of building public awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the educational options and services that are now available under the No Child Left Behind Act. The project will develop Spanish language communication tools and disseminate the information through Spanish language communication outlets. The project will work with other organizations such as the Black Alliance for Educational Options, the Florida School Choice Fund, and Excellent Education for Everyone in New Jersey.

University of Minnesota/National Governors Association's Center for Best Practices

Funding: 3-year grant totaling $607,150

This three-year joint project will help states meet the promise of No Child Left Behind by identifying the most effective and efficient ways to create and administer school choice programs. The two main goals of the project are: (1) synthesize information about the most effective ways for states to create and administer charter and other school choice policies; and (2) partner with governors and other key state officials to help them develop broad school choice strategies.

National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

Funding: 3-year grant totaling $4,496,424

NCATE will establish the Reading First Teacher Preparation Network to enhance teacher preparation programs in reading by engaging colleges and universities in realigning their reading instruction programs with effective research-based practices. This initiative will allow reading professors from 25 institutions to participate in the best training available on scientifically based reading instruction, which will help ensure that their students--our future teachers--have a solid foundation.

The reading network is a collaboration between the Department of Education, the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, NCATE, the University of Texas Center for Reading and Language Arts and minority-serving institutions across the nation.

The New Teacher Project

Funding: 2-year grant totaling $2.5 million

The New Teacher Project will work with two high-need urban school systems and one rural state to: (1) establish effective and efficient hiring processes showing that change is possible; and (2) create a local teacher hiring alliance of key decision makers who implement policy reforms to overcome barriers to timely and effective hiring; and (3) increase the number of "highly qualified" teachers hired in the pilot districts. The expected outcomes from this initiative are: (1) change the actual teacher hiring outcomes by increasing the number and quality of applicants; (2) raise the quality of actual hires; and (3) open the start of school with fewer vacancies.

Milken Family Foundation for the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP)

Funding: 1-year grant of $1.8 million

The project will sustain and expand TAP in rural, inner city and suburban schools in Arizona, Arkansas and South Carolina. TAP is implemented mostly in high poverty schools where students eligible for free/reduced price lunch range from 40 percent to 60 percent of the student body. TAP has a five-principle approach to improving teaching:

  1. Multiple Career Paths. TAP provides new opportunities for teachers who perform at high levels and have the desire and qualification to move along a career continuum of as many as six ranks.
  2. Performance-based Accountability. Rather than a pass/fail system, TAP grades teacher performance on a five-point scale. Each teacher is observed 6 times by multiple, trained and certified evaluators.
  3. Market-Driven Compensation. TAP provides school principals the flexibility to compensate teachers differently based on their position (career, mentor or master teachers), their performance, and the performance of their students. In addition, the principal may offer competitive salaries to attract teachers to hard-to-staff subjects such as math and science, and hard-to-staff schools.
  4. Ongoing Professional Growth. The TAP career path established a structure where master and mentor teachers provide ongoing professional development, conduct classroom demonstration lessons, give regular feedback on specific teaching and learning innovations, and design professional development opportunities to meet their fellow teachers' content and grade-level needs.
  5. Expanding the Supply of High Quality Teachers. TAP schools recruit for master and mentor teachers from beyond their own current staffs to ensure that the very best people available provide leadership and professional development.

National Center for Education Information (For the National Center for Alternative Certification)

Funding: 3-year grant totaling $2.25 million

In this three-year project, the National Center for Education Information will use grant funds to establish "The National Center for Alternative Certification (NCAC)." NCAC will serve as a comprehensive national clearinghouse for information about alternative routes to certification in the United States and provide technical assistance to entities establishing and/or implementing alternative routes. The goals of NCAC are to provide:

  • A comprehensive, accurate and trusted source of information on alternative certification for use by prospective teacher candidates, as well as for policymakers, legislators, educators, researchers and members of the public.
  • Outreach and technical assistance to States, localities and other entities wanting to create high quality alternative routes to certification or to upgrade existing routes.

In order to accomplish these goals, an office will be established in Washington, DC, with a toll-free telephone number call center and interactive Web site that will enable information to be disseminated immediately to consumers interested in becoming teachers, as well as policy and decision-makers at all levels, researchers and the general public. The Center will work closely with other efforts underway to provide concise, useful and non-duplicative information to prospective teachers by linking Web sites, and communicating directly with managers of other groups such as: Recruiting New Teachers, Inc., Troops to Teachers, Teach for American, the New Teacher Project, The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence and the National Council for Teacher Quality.

FIE Awards

Last Modified: 08/30/2006