September 20, 2013
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced Wednesday (Sept. 18) nearly $30 million for six grant awards to improve student achievement by increasing the effectiveness of teachers and principals.
Texas Tech University is one of the grantees through the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) and will receive about $4.7 million of NIET’s total $14.5 million grant to provide services and certification programs to teachers and administrators in schools around Texas, including some in Lubbock, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston.
The remaining five grantees receiving awards are the NIET–Arizona, Teach for America, WestEd, National Writing Project and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
“The combination of NIET’s proven impact on students and teachers in the field with Texas Tech’s innovation and technology at the university preparation level creates a powerful new model for educator preparation and school reform in America,” said Scott Ridley, dean of Texas Tech’s College of Education.
During a three-year period, in partnership with Texas Tech University, NIET will reach almost 750 teachers and leaders in 18 TAP (teacher advancement program) schools, as well as 90 new teacher candidates at Texas Tech, 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’s teacher preparation curriculum and its certifications in literacy/writing, STEM and leadership.
“Dean Ridley has done an outstanding job for Texas Tech University and the College of Education,” said Kent Hance, chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. “This grant is another great accomplishment for Dr. Ridley and his team, and we are extremely proud of their efforts.”
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. The SEED program is funded through the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011.
In December 2012 Texas Tech’s College of Education also was included as a lead institution in a $24.5 million Promise Neighborhood implementation grant by the U.S. Department of Education as one of only seven grantees from across the nation. The East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood consortium will receive the funding during the next five years and is a collaboration of the Lubbock Independent School District, Texas Tech University, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and multiple community partners.
“With all that our College of Education is doing in the area of education reform and teacher training around the state, it is not surprising that we’ve received this award to help improve student achievement through teacher preparation,” said Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis. “Along with last year’s Promise Neighborhood grant, this reinforces Texas Tech’s leadership position in state and national education.”
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