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Administrators Preach on Project RISE

Live from the Learning Forward annual conference in Atlanta.

Back to a recap of my second session on Monday: I walked in late to a presentation about Project RISE (Rewards and Incentives for School Educators). Administrators from Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Fla. spoke about the Teacher Incentive Fund-sponsored grant, which is awarded to high-needs schools to improve teacher and administrator effectiveness. It requires placement of two National Board Certified Teachers at participating schools to serve as models and lead professional development. The NBCTs receive financial incentives for administering PD, and, at least in Miami, all other teachers can choose whether to participate in the professional learning communities. Teachers who attend PD sessions during the school day are given classroom substitutes, paid by the grant. Those teachers who come after school are given a stipend. The grant lasts five years.

The Miami-Dade administrators were enthusiastic about the program, saying it infuses teachers, and eventually entire schools, with a drive for improving their trade.

The six or so administrators attending the session were curious about the details of how the PLCs work and whether teachers can get help paying for National Board certification (Caroline Guthrie of Miami-Dade said under RISE, teachers can get reimbursed, though that money is not promised).

I'm unclear on how much leeway districts have in dispelling the grant money and am interested to learn more. Please chime in if you have experience with Project RISE.

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