Unions, Teacher ‘Voice’ Groups, National Board Among Recent Gates Recipients

By Stephen Sawchuk — July 30, 2013 1 min read
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The recent announcement of $15 million in teacher professional-development grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation got me tooling through its database. Since mid-2012, the flush foundation has made a number of other teacher-related grants worth noting.

The following grants were awarded between July 2012 and July 2013. Keep reading for the grants and some context about each.

  • The National Education Association’s quasi-independent foundation received $3.9 million to support a group of “master teachers” to create exemplar lessons aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The Huffington Post’s tireless Joy Resmovits has all the details for you.
  • The foundation also re-upped for the American Federation of Teachers’ Innovation Fund and common-core efforts to the tune of $4.4 million. This probably partly explains why AFT President Randi Weingarten generally doesn’t mention Gates in the list of foundations she doesn’t like, such as Walton.
  • Speaking of AFT, Gates has also given $150,000 to help with one of its affiliates’ bids to become a charter-school authorizer. I outlined that project in this Teacher Beat blog item.
  • Also getting new grants are teacher-voice groups Teach Plus ($5.1 million), Educators for Excellence ($3 million), and the Center for Teaching Quality‘s online network of teacher leaders ($3.1 million). Some have viewed these organizations’ ties to Gates with suspicion, as I reported earlier.
  • The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ new-ish leader Ron Thorpe, has laid out his vision for an updated board-certification process. Apparently, it will be assisted by a $3.7 million grant. Some Education Week Teacher bloggers have come to see the National Board process as the antithesis of new teacher evaluation systems that owe their shape in large part to Gates research, so their reaction will be interesting to watch.

(Education Week receives Gates support for coverage of business and innovation topics.)

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.