The American Federation of Teachers yesterday announced its next Innovation Fund grantees, and they'll be tackling everything from curricula to performance pay. I apologize for being a bit late to get you the news; yesterday was gangbusters at the AFT.
Without further ado:
• The Anchorage Council of Education, in Alaska, will help at-risk students earn diplomas by training "graduation coaches" in high schools.
• The Boston Teachers Union will work to increase students' engagement in lessons by creating prototypes of high-quality instructional units that can be distributed online.
• Education Austin, in Texas, will work with Austin Interfaith, a coalition of religious congregations, schools, and civic organizations, to convert several schools to "in-district charters."
• The Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association, in Tampa, Fla., will use social networking to connect teachers and support them through the changes in pay, evaluation, and career possibilities under way in the district as part of its Gates Foundation grant.
• The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers will tap into teachers' desire to create high-performing schools by seeking to become an authorizer of charter schools under Minnesota law.
• The Toledo Federation of Teachers, in Ohio, will create a group performance-pay program for teams of math teachers in grades 4-8 in four high-needs schools.
• The United Federation of Teachers, in New York City, will help thousands of family child-care providers understand and teach early literacy development using a curriculum that includes an adaptation of the PBS television show "Between the Lions."
• Last, but not least, the Volusia Teachers Organization, in Daytona Beach, Fla., will develop a model for using evidence of student learning in a teacher-development and -evaluation system.
The new batch of grants totals $1.21 million.