Department Awards $30 Million in Grants to Support Teacher and Principal Development

(Sept. 18, 2013) U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan today announced nearly $30 million for six grant awards to improve student achievement by increasing the effectiveness of teachers and principals.

The national non-profits funded under the Supporting Effective Educators Development (SEED) program, will enhance preparation of pre-service teachers, provide professional development to in-service teachers and leaders, and disseminate best practices, ultimately serving approximately 27,000 teachers and principals, reaching a significant number of students across all 50 states.

“Effective teachers and principals play a central role in improving student achievement and producing better outcomes for children,” Secretary Duncan said. “These grants provide resources to support teachers and school leaders and develop the next generation of world-class educators.”

The six grantees receiving awards are the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, Teach for America, WestEd, National Writing Project, National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), Arizona – Partnering with Mary Lou Fulton School of Education at Arizona State University, NIET will use their grant funds to prepare 214 new teachers in the STEM fields over three years by implementing recruitment strategies designed to increase the number of participants from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM. Additionally, they plan to provide professional development to over 4,000 undergraduate teacher candidates and in-service teachers to improve the teaching of Common Core Writing Standards. Their project more than doubles the amount of time undergraduate teacher candidates spend in classrooms by providing increased clinical experiences in the junior year and a full year residency in the senior year. In the undergraduate program, teacher candidates spend one full day per week in internships in the first year of the program and 4 days per week in the final year. All coursework and clinical experiences take place in the school district, and the program follows the school district calendar rather than ASU’s academic calendar.

Teach for America (TFA) – With the funds from SEED, TFA will help prepare 12,500 new teachers over the next two years. They also plan to implement and evaluate two new pilot initiatives at their summer training institutes in order to learn more effective ways of preparing teachers. One pilot initiative will offer two regional institutes in Memphis and Jacksonville, training only those who teach within that community. The second pilot initiative integrates the Common Core State Standards into the institutes and seeks to develop and test a range of Common Core-aligned trainings and resources.

WestEd – WestEd will use its grant to expand on past work of the Strategic Literacy Initiative by partnering with affiliates in Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and California to provide 60+ hours of professional development based on the Reading Apprenticeship model, to 1000 secondary teachers of Science, Language Arts, and History/Social Studies. The three-year project will also leverage the capacity of local state coordinators and facilitators already in place to sustain and expand literacy instruction by providing ongoing support to about 180 local administrators and teacher leaders in participating secondary schools, thus enabling site teams to introduce the instructional model to an additional 2000 teachers.

National Writing Project (NWP) – Working in partnership with local schools and districts, NWP plans to provide high-quality professional development for K-12 teachers in the teaching of writing across content areas to help students meet rigorous academic standards through its national network of 190 university-based sites. Over the course of the two year project, they plan to support the development of 3,000 K-12 teachers with a focus on supporting students in meeting college- and career-ready standards. Ten intensive Science and Literacy Institutes will be provided for middle-grade science teachers to support students in writing evidence-based science arguments. Additionally, they will develop and disseminate 20 new online professional development learning experiences to assist teachers and schools in strengthening curricula and practice related to improving the teaching of writing across content areas.

National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), Texas – Over three years, in partnership with Texas Tech University (TTU), NIET will reach almost 750 teachers and leaders in 18 TAP schools, as well as 90 new teacher candidates at TTU, thereby increasing the number of effective educators in high need schools across five Texas districts. The project plans to enhance the traditional TAP model by embedding the strategies of the TAP System into Texas Tech University’s teacher preparation curriculum and its certifications in Literacy/Writing, STEM, and Leadership.

National Board of Professional Teaching Standards – Teams comprised of the state or local education agency, the state or local union, and a network of National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) will increase the number of highly-effective NBCTs teaching and serving in instructional leadership roles at high-need schools in four states (Kentucky, Nevada, New York, and Washington) and two districts (Albuquerque and San Francisco). Over the three years of this project, the work of this initiative will impact over 3,500 teachers including nearly 1,000 teachers of STEM subjects and over 500,000 students. The SEED program is funded through the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011.

Supporting Effective Educator Development Grant Award Recipients

Applicant Name


Funding for FY2013

National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, Arizona

Santa Monica, California


Teach for America

New York City, New York



San Francisco, California


National Writing Project

Berkeley, California


National Institute for Excellence in Teaching Texas

Santa Monica, California


National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

Arlington, Virginia


Cross-posted from the blog.