A Million Dollars for Your Thoughts

By Elizabeth Rich — January 30, 2009 1 min read

Money is tight everywhere (look no further than your school district), but the teaching profession recently got a financial boost from billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates, according to eSchoolNews. His foundation is funding $10 million in grants to study teacher effectiveness and its bearing on student achievement. The grant recipients include Educational Testing Service ($7.3 million); ACT, Inc. ($579,000); and Teach for America ($1.9 million).

Gates also hopes to post videos online of the “best” teachers at work to provide a model for other educators. One of the new focus areas for his foundation, explained Gates in a letter, is to identify what makes a great teacher great. To that end, writes Gates, “Whenever I talk to teachers, it is clear that they want to be great, but that they need better tools so they can measure progress and keep improving.”

When it comes to children getting a good education, Gates writes, the teacher is king. “If you want your child to have the best education possible, it is actually more important to get him assigned to a great teacher than to a great school.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.