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Deadline: June 12, 2015

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Teacher Preparation Transformation Centers

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to ensuring that all students in the United States have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education. Its College-Ready Education program aims to ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared to succeed in college and careers. It invests in programs with a common aim: to strengthen the connection between teacher and student. To that end, the Foundation works with educators, policymakers, parents, and communities to expand and accelerate successful programs and identify innovative new solutions that can help unlock students’ potential.

With the goal of initial teacher training that best prepares candidates for their first year of teaching, the Foundation has developed a set of principles to guide its investments in the coming years. The Foundation’s approach is to support teacher training programs of various types to focus their efforts on ensuring teachers graduate ready to teach in K- 12 public schools, and along the way, be willing to examine and continuously improve program offerings as they gain better understanding of what works. The Foundation is requesting information from newly forming transformation centers outlining their organization, ideas, and progress toward the key drivers of quality:

  • Teacher preparation providers who build teacher candidate competency through practice
  • Teacher preparation providers who engage in authentic continuous improvement
  • Teacher preparation providers who ensure their own teacher educators are effective
  • Teacher preparation providers who are driven by school systems and the communities they serve

These centers must have a central hub or sponsoring organization that enables the spread and scale of effective practices by engaging multiple providers to collaboratively address problems of practice aligned to the four key drivers. The Foundation believes that the most sustainable networks will have deep understanding and capacity for active learning and continuous improvement within the providers that make up their membership. It is also interested in the organization, common purpose, and unified commitment of the network’s leadership.

Based on the responses to the RFI, the Gates Foundation will follow up with selected organizations either individually or as a group to determine how best to support their work.

Amount: Sizes of awards will vary based on the depth of the work proposed, the number of teacher candidates affected, and evidence of likely success. For this competition, the Foundation anticipates approximately one to four awards in the range of up to approximately $7 million over three years (approximately December 2015 – December 2018).

Eligibility: There are three pathways to participating in a Teacher Preparation Transformation Center: as a lead applicant for a Teacher Transformation Center; as an interested partner that will work with teacher preparation transformation centers for the purposes of dissemination, research, etc.;  and as an interested provider as part of a transformation center. Interested partners and providers can fill out a form online that lead applicants may utilize in developing their applications and selecting partners.

All applicants must be one of the following: public school system, non-profit organization, state agency, or institution of higher education.

Link: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/General-Information/Grant-Opportunities/Teacher-Preparation-Transformation-Centers-RFI-RFP#undefined

Note: An informational webinar will be held on May 7, 2015.

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