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AFT Grant Program Invites Teachers to Revise, Monitor Common-Core Standards

A new pot of money has become available to teachers who want to get involved in a range of actions aimed at improving the Common Core State Standards.

The funds are available through grants of up to $30,000 from the American Federation of Teachers' Innovation Fund. The application period just opened, and will remain open until Sept. 30. AFT wants the work that's funded with the grants to begin on Nov. 1.

Originally announced at AFT's convention in Los Angeles in July, the grants are intended to support teachers in a variety of ways, such as writing revisions to the standards, shaping instructional resources for them, or organizing panels to monitor their implementation.

The AFT had to push hard to get even a small group of teachers onto the panels that wrote and reviewed the common-core standards in 2010, and continues to feel that too few teachers were involved in shaping the standards.

That sentiment fueled a resolution adopted at the July convention calling for more channels of teacher input into what the standards say and how they're put into practice in classrooms.

"This is a chance for teachers to receive resources to get together and weigh in on what has become the hottest topic in K-12 education," the AFT said in announcing the Innovation Fund grants on Thursday. "Successful grantees will produce documents that can be used in a wide variety of ways, including advocating for sensible changes in local and state policy."

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