Giving Compass’ Take:
• The Gates Foundation is investing 10M in educator professional development that will focus on curriculum training and helping teachers use materials effectively.
• Will we see other education philanthropists shift focus toward curriculum after this investment?
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced this week a grant program that will award $10 million to professional development providers around training for “high-quality” curricula, part of an estimated $1.7 billion it plans to invest in K-12 by 2022, Education Week reports.
The grants won’t be focused toward developing new curricula from the ground up, but rather on helping teachers more effectively use existing resources and materials and adjusting them to their own needs.
The announcement details the foundation’s latest effort following its educational strategy pivot away from teacher performance in October 2017. Its work on teacher evaluations was one of its most-criticized areas of educational philanthropy, with many questioning the value of tying metrics like student test scores to teacher or school evaluations.
That pivot saw the foundation shift its focus toward “locally driven solutions” for student achievement and center on supporting promising results from existing traditional public schools, new curriculum development, charters serving special needs students, and “research and development” to scale successful models.
It makes sense that curriculum and teacher training is coming into the picture, as K-12 schools and districts have worked in recent years to adjust learning models for a new working world, where many traditional blue-collar jobs that required compliant labor are being automated and replaced with positions demanding newer technical skills, as well as the ability to think critically and creatively in collaboration with others. But the effort must also be wary of potential pitfalls.
Read the full article about investing in curriculum professional development by Roger Riddell at Education Dive
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