U.S. Department of Education Collaborates with ASCD and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to Provide Grants that Support Teacher Leadership Projects

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U.S. Department of Education Collaborates with ASCD and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to Provide Grants that Support Teacher Leadership Projects

May 3, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education is collaborating with ASCD and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) to provide direct support to teachers to strengthen professional development and improve student outcomes. Through the new Teacher Impact Grants (TIG) program from ASCD, teachers will be able to develop, expand and evaluate promising practices and programs that can transform the academic trajectory of students. These teacher-led projects and programs can impact the quality of teaching in the classroom, in schools, and throughout school districts. The grants, financially supported by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Foundation Charitable Trust and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, will be awarded directly to teachers for research-based initiatives they believe will accelerate learning and improve student outcomes. The grant program is part of Teach to Lead, an initiative jointly convened between the U.S. Department of Education, ASCD, and NBPTS to cultivate the expertise of teachers to drive transformation in schools, districts and states, including the development of policies that affect teacher work and student learning.

“Effective teachers make the difference, and all students should have access to great teaching and to great opportunities in the classroom,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “Given the proper tools, resources and supports, we know that teachers can transform students’ lives. Many teachers have the real-world knowledge and expertise to develop innovative classroom-, school-, or district-level initiatives to drive positive outcomes for students, but may not have the resources to bring their ideas to fruition. Funding from the Teacher Impact Grants will enable teachers to fund projects and programs that can transform and reshape the learning environment, and improve educational outcomes for students.”

“The Teacher Impact Grants will provide teacher leaders across the nation opportunities to develop, expand and evaluate innovative and ambitious projects focused on making their schools and classrooms more effective communities of learning,” said ASCD Executive Director and CEO Deborah  Delisle. “Teachers have a hands-on role, each day, in creating high-quality learning environments for all kids and, therefore, know what efforts will lead to further success. We’re excited to introduce these grants, which will empower teacher leaders to launch and execute projects that are teacher-led, teacher-driven, and teacher-approved.”

“ASCD’s Teacher Impact Grants complement the work we’ve jointly shepherded through Teach to Lead―empowering teachers as leaders,” said Peggy Brookins, National Board Certified Teacher, president and CEO of the National Board. “We must do all that we can to elevate teacher expertise, providing resources to help them best meet the needs of their students, their schools, and their districts. The Teacher Impact Grants will be an important lever to move this forward.”

The TIG program builds on the success of the Teach to Lead initiative, which has received commitments from 120 supporter organizations to date. The initiative expands opportunities for teacher leadership by providing resources, facilitating stakeholder consultations, and encouraging professional collaborations to develop and amplify the work of teacher leaders.

Research consistently shows that high-quality teaching leads to better student outcomes. TIG gets to the heart of high-quality teaching by funding promising teacher-led professional learning that will ultimately lead to transforming traditional top-down, compliance-driven professional learning that has not necessarily led to gains in student achievement.  Moreover, through TIG, teachers will assume greater ownership in the design of high-quality learning environments for all students. Projects funded by the grants will be disseminated as models to the broader field.

The TIG program will be announced this afternoon at the National and State Teachers of the Year ceremony at the White House. The application process opens Monday, May 16, and teacher leaders can submit their proposal at www.ascd.org/teacherimpactgrants. Grant proposals will be evaluated by a group of peer reviewers selected by the U.S. Department of Education, ASCD, and NBPTS. Grant amounts will range from $5,000 ˗ $15,000 and will fund diverse teacher projects across the country that will be implemented during the 2016 ˗ 2017 school year.
More information about the TIG program can be found here.