Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Principal Preparation Transformation CenterDeadline: November 15, 2018
Guided by the belief that all lives have equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to ensuring that all students in the United States have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education. The Foundation’s K-12 program aims to increase the number of Black, Latino, and low-income students who earn a high school diploma, enroll in a postsecondary institution, and are on-track in their first year to attain a high-quality credential.
High-poverty, low-achieving school districts, which arguably need the best principals, have difficulty attracting high-quality applicants. Across America, high-poverty rural and urban school districts struggle to recruit and retain effective principals. There is currently a severe shortage of quality principals, particularly for high-need, “turnaround” schools.
The Foundation believes that when principal preparation programs sustainably implement quality programming at scale, new principals will be better prepared to positively impact outcomes for Black, Latino, and low-income students. To that end, it works with educators, policymakers, parents, and communities to support and scale successful programs and identify innovative new solutions that can help improve the recruitment and preparation of diverse, effective new principals.
The Foundation is interested in identifying and supporting “Principal Preparation Transformation Centers” (Centers) with the credibility and capacity to support a network of principal preparation programs that are committed to working together to strengthen all aspects of their model in the service of increasing the number of diverse, effective new school principals.
These Centers will provide technical assistance and networking support to enable and accelerate improvement of member programs and the dissemination of effective practices with the broader field. With the goal of increasing the number of high-quality preparation programs that prepare candidates for roles as school leaders, the Foundation has reviewed existing research and engaged stakeholders in the field to develop a set of Principal Preparation Outcomes & Indicators to guide investments and knows that there are multiple pathways that candidates take on their school leadership journey. Examples include university-based programs, district-run programs, and non-profit based programs. The Foundation’s hope is to support, through these Centers, a diverse portfolio of of principal preparation programs that share a common goal of ensuring principals graduate ready for school leadership, and along the way, be willing to examine and continuously improve program offerings as they gain better understanding of what works. The most effective networks will be learning organizations that hold themselves accountable to the outcomes of their member programs and implement processes to continually improve their own effectiveness aligned to a set of Technical Assistance Outcomes & Indicators.
Amount: Maximum funding available for each funding period is $2,000,000. Award size will vary based on the depth of work proposed, the number of principal candidates collectively prepared by member programs, and evidence of likely success:
- Centers supporting programs that collectively prepare 500 new principal program completers per year: maximum of $2,000,000 per year for a period of 3 years.
- Centers supporting programs that collectively prepare 250 new principal program completers per year: maximum of $1,000,000 per year for a period of 3 years.
- Centers supporting programs that collectively prepare 125 new principal program completers per year: maximum of $500,000 per year for a period of 3 years.
Up to half of the funds per funding period can be used as operating budget for the Center (e.g., personnel, travel, capital equipment).
Eligibility: Transformation centers with experience and ideas for supporting principal preparation program improvement.