Education Funding News in Brief

Foundations Team Up With AFT on Projects

By Stephen Sawchuk — May 12, 2009 1 min read

Four private philanthropies—the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation—will partner with the American Federation of Teachers through its Innovation Fund.

The private-foundation contributions, in addition to the AFT’s down payment of $1 million, bring the fund’s total to $2.8 million. Money from the fund is available for local affiliates of the union to “incubate promising ideas to improve schools,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said last month.

She gave a couple of possible examples: Districts and teachers could propose a new way of evaluating teachers that would incorporate evidence of student achievement. Or they could come up with a school turnaround model akin to the Fresh Start project in Chicago or the now-defunct New York City reform initiative known as the Chancellor’s District.

The fund, announced by the union last fall, plans to make its first grants in September.

A version of this article appeared in the May 13, 2009 edition of Education Week

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