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New Projects Under the Secretary's Discretionary Fund

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Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell has awarded $2.5 million in federal grants for 33 state and local projects intended to implement various recommendations of the National Commission on Excellence in Education. The recipients of the competitive grants, allocated from the Secretary's Discretionary Fund, are listed below.

Expanding Parental Choice in Central

Harlem--$169,994


Community School District Five, New York, New York.

An open-zone enrollment program for elementary and intermediate schools, much like a public voucher plan; a communitywide parent-awareness outreach effort; development of a Plan for Excellence in each school; a districtwide School Choice Fair.


Performance-Based Incentive

Structure--$70,895


Winston-Salem Forsyth County Board of Education, Winston-Salem, N.C.

Observation of videotapes depicting two hours of classroom teaching by each of 72 participating teachers to give principal a better information base for more reliable and objective evaluation of teachers.


Teacher Advisory Program--$89,921


Santa Clara County Office of Education, Santa Clara, Calif.

Classroom teachers attend inservice sessions to improve skills in classrooom management or instructional strategies; "coaching" provided by peer teacher advisors who act as "master teachers" and remain in the classroom while assuming advisory responsibilities.


Teacher and Teacher Education

Incentive Pilot Program--$116,811


Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Madison, Wis.

Statewide introduction to and implementation planning of the pilot programs, including initial training in staff development of master teachers; on-site visits by Department of Public Instruction personnel to assist districts in the integration of the pilots and to monitor district progress; evaluation and analysis of district progress.


Non-Salaried Incentives--$84,037


University of Washington College of Education, Seattle, Wash.

A study of the nature of rewards and incentives in teaching, for their effects on teaching practice and on aggregate characteristics of teacher workforce; focus on master teachers and their principals.


Compensating Meritorious Teaching--

$138,820


Education Commission of the States, Denver, Colo.

National study panel to identify important principles that should be considered by state and local leaders before a "merit pay" plan is adopted.


Professional Step Program--$48,431


Mercer Island School District, Mercer Island, Wash.

Compensate outstanding teacher performance by moving teachers one extra step up in the established salary scale; utilize peer review.


Alternate Career Structure--$96,730


Charlotte Mecklenburg School Superintendent, Charlotte, N.C.

Creation of a temporary structure of a project coordinator and four teacher-research associations to assist communication between school-based liaison committees and those responsible for planning at the central level.


State-Level Case Study of Master

Teachers--$152,654


University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.

A state-level case study of Tennessee's master-teacher proposal; study performed in cooperation with the state's education policymakers, but directed by reputable educational scholars detached from political pressures.


Consortium for Educational

Excellence-- $201,966


Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

Involved 30 school systems from 15 states and the District of Columbia; allows each community to define excellence, but builds on momentum of commission's report by encouraging and facilitating school-improvement efforts; leading school administrators work with local leaders to design plans for implementing commission recommendations.


Budgeting for New Teacher Roles--

$28,679


Weber State College, Ogden, Utah

Develop and test a model for improving elementary- and secondary-school teaching and learning by means of a differentiated pay scale as an incentive for experienced, career-oriented teachers.


Nonsalary Incentives for Teacher-

Initiated Instructional Action

Teams--$51,814


Tucson Unified School District, Tucson, Ariz.

Use of nonsalary incentives at 12 "target" schools where special school-improvement efforts are being carried out.


Electric Clearinghouse for State

Activities Dealing With ncee--$76,837


Council of Chief State School Officers, Washington, D.C.

A computer database on educational excellence, to collect and disseminate information on all state-level activities related to the National Commission on Excellence in Education.


Research Contribution for Educational

Improvement--$99,873


American Educational Research Association, Washington, D.C.

Research on teaching and teacher incentives, teacher education, curriculum improvement and other issues raised by the Commission; publication of findings through education policy forums and Editor-at-Large program.


Strategies for Excellence: Teacher

Incentives and Educational

Standards--$90,000


National Association of State Boards of Education, Alexandria, Va.

Develop and disseminate information related to teacher incentives and educational standards.

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