The Cost of Teacher Effectiveness? Millions.

By Bryan Toporek — November 19, 2009 1 min read

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation delivered a $40 million offer to the Pittsburgh Public Schools this week to boost teacher effectiveness, reports the According to officials, it is the largest direct grant ever made to the school district. Pittsburgh is one of four “intensive partnership sites” that could soon receive money from the Gates Foundation for their efforts to improve teacher effectiveness.

“For us, it’s the perfect partnership at the perfect time,” said school Superintendent Mark Roosevelt.

The district, Roosevelt acknowledged, sees the foundation’s support as an endorsement of its initiatives to improve teacher effectiveness and school conditions.

Over the past four years, the district has shut the doors on low-performing schools, introduced standardized curricula, and with the support of Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, helped to launch the Pittsburgh Promise, which offers college scholarships to select graduates of city high schools.

The $40 million grant will go towards financing the district’s $85 million-plus plan to overhaul their methods for recruiting, training, and compensating teachers. Under the new plan, the district will implement performance-based pay for faculty members, establish a teachers’ academy, renovate the tenure system, and broaden teacher recruitment efforts.

The plan rolled out with the approval of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers.

“The PFT is very proud of the efforts made by our members every day, and this recognition by Gates underscores the reasons why we have that pride,” PFT President Jack Tarka said.

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


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Special Education Teachers
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read