Titled "Intensive Partnership for Effective Teaching," Hillsborough County Schools received a $100 million dollar grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The entire grant totaled $290 million dollars with the balance awarded to: Memphis City Schools, Pittsburgh City Schools and The College-Ready Promise.
The Hillsborough County School weathered a year long application process, competing with other school districts throughout the United States. Melinda Gates said, "These communities have shown extraordinary commitment to tackling one of the most important educational issues of our time. We must do everything we can to understand what makes teachers effective and cultivate those qualities across the profession, in every school and classroom, so that all students can benefit." Melinda's comment here supports our school district's effort to help our kids.
The HCS district, school board and teacher union leadership worked together to make this happen. It will be interesting to watch this program unfold. I suspect that there will be a contingent of teachers who protest. After all, it is they whose effectiveness and performance will be evaluated, and ultimately dealt with.
I say this with cautious optimism, but it is good to see that the teacher's union supports this. We are not dealing with the handling of factory widgets here, we are dealing with our kids' future. Pay particular attention to those teachers who do oppose this plan. Listen carefully to their arguments. Evaluate how their case benefits your kids and their education.
The Gate's Foundation is also including the HCS in a $45 million dollar grant titled Measures of Effective Teaching.
Congratulations to all those folks who worked hard here to provide a better level of education for our kids!