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School & District Management Opinion

School Improvement RFP of the Week (2)

By Marc Dean Millot — May 12, 2008 3 min read
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2008 DC Higher Education Teacher Quality Improvement Partnerships

From Monday’s issue of K-12Leads and Youth Service Markets ReportAnnouncement: Teacher Quality Improvement Funding Due June 6 (May 9) Office of the State Superintendent of Education, District of Columbia

Their Description:

This... will support summer programs offering a partnership approach to teacher and administrator professional development.... The grant awards will be from the date of award until September 30, 2008.... Historically, grants have ranged in the amount of $75,000 to $100,000....

The target population for the grant is elementary and secondary public and private school teachers. It is expected that all programs take into account the need for greater access to and participation in mathematics and science for students from historically underrepresented and under-served groups and gifted and talented students.... Applicants shall develop training, retraining or in-service programs... and encourage: Teachers to participate in intensive, ongoing professional development... both academic and pedagogical....

ELIGIBLE PARTNERSHIP-The term “eligible partnership” means an entity that:

(A) shall include:
(i) a private or State institution of higher education and the division of the institution that prepares teachers and principals;
(ii) a school of arts and sciences; and
(iii) a high-need local educational agency; and
(B) may include another local educational agency, a public charter school, an elementary school or secondary school, an educational service agency, a nonprofit educational organization, another institution of higher education, a school of arts and sciences within such an institution, the division of such an institution that prepares teachers and principals, a nonprofit cultural organization, an entity carrying out a pre-kindergarten program, a teacher organization, a principal organization, or a business....

The Office... has established the following priorities for funding under the grant:
• Programs in mathematics for middle grade teachers (grades 5-8) in problem solving techniques and use of state-of-the-art technologies;
• Programs for middle grade teachers with an emphasis on integrating mathematics, science and technology; and
• Opportunities for secondary teachers to improve their instructional strategies in
algebra.

Services must be provided in the District of Columbia, at the applicant’s university or college, DC public or private school or other suitable facilities.....
Applicants’ submissions will be objectively reviewed against the following specific scoring criteria....

• Improvement or Expansion of Instruction (Total 30 Points)
• Plan of Operation (Total 30 Points)
• Staffing Requirement (Total 10 Points)
• Adequacy of Resources (Total 10 Points)
• Evaluation Plan (Total 10 Points)
• Sound Fiscal Management and Reasonable Budget (Total 10 Points)
• Applicant’s Commitment and Capacity (Total 10 Points)
• Bonus Points (Total 10 Points)....previous success as a grantee of the OSSE Teacher Quality Improvement Grant; commitment to work with teachers... with DC Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs students.


My Thoughts: This is a program offered by DC’s State Superintendent ‘s Office as the city’s higher education agency, rather than the Chancellor of the DC Schools as operator of public k-12 schools.

For private sector providers, the key issue is the interest and capacity of DC higher education institutions to pursue this work, the ideal being high interest and modest capacity. At $75-100K it could be an attractive add-on to work already taking place, but it might also be a way to gain entry into the market, or simply to develop summer opportunities for provider staff.

K-12Leads and Youth Service Markets Report is a comprehensive weekly web-enabled report delivered by email on Monday. It covers grant and contract RFPs issued by every federal and state education and social services agency and every school district over the internet. K-12Leads is for school improvement providers who understand that their offerings are not commodities, rarely displayed as such, and so easily missed by traditional computer-based “word search” systems.

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