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TIF Program Winners Announced
posted by: Alix | September 24, 2010, 04:02 PM   

This week, the US Department of Education announced the 62 winning applicants of the Teacher Incentive Fund grant competition or TIF. The winning participants represent rural and urban school districts, as well as nonprofit organizations and education organizations from 27 states across the country.

The goal of the five-year, 1.2 billion dollar program is to develop the education profession by rewarding excellence and by attracting new teachers, principals, and support staff to high-need districts. This week's announcement provides the first two years of funding—a total of $442 million.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan asserts, "Nothing is more important than great teaching. These grants will help schools build a culture that celebrates excellence in the classroom and helps all teachers improve their practice."

The applicants were judged on their plans to develop, reward and support great teachers and principals in high-need schools, based on value-added evaluations that include multiple quantifiers. In addition, recipients were required to demonstrate a level of local educator support and involvement and a plan for financial sustainability after the five-year period of grant funds.

One of the deserving recipients is the Jefferson County Public School District in Colorado. The district will be awarded over 20 million dollars to spearhead a program that will reward teachers for both student gains and their own leadership in spreading teacher expertise and professional development. In an effort to reform evaluations, personnel changes will be determined by peer and administrative observations particularly in the highest-need schools.

AAE applauds the efforts of these innovative school systems and the Department of Education for recognizing the value in investing in education reform. These five-year grants will represent the beginning of many successful initiatives that can be one day used as models all over the country.

Do you think these grants are a wise investment?
Comment below.

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