TFT receives AFT Innovation Fund Grant
July 19, 2010: The American Federation of Teachers announced last week during its national convention in Seattle that the Toledo Federation of Teachers will receive an AFT Innovation Fund grant for its proposal to create a pilot performance-pay program that sets teaching standards that surpass those of the Ohio Department of Education. Teams of grade-level math teachers who demonstrate effective skills and strategies that result in improved teacher practice, and increased student achievement that exceeds state expectations, will be recognized and rewarded. The program also offers incentives to parents and guardians for participation in their children’s education.
The AFT Innovation Fund, which made its first round of grants in October 2009, seeks proposals that feature strong partnerships with communities and school districts. The 2010 grants, totaling $1.21 million, were awarded to eight local affiliates, including the Toledo Federation of Teachers.
During the first year of the performance-pay program, the emphasis will be on math in grades 4 through 8 in four high-needs schools. The goals of this project are to increase student achievement in the core academic areas, increase collaboration among teachers, recognize outstanding teaching, foster successful teaching practices, and increase parental involvement in the schools. The union is partnering with Toledo Public Schools to implement this performance-pay program.
“One ofthe most exciting aspects of this project is that it encourages educators and parents to work together to help students succeed,” said Francine Lawrence, president of the Toledo Federation of Teachers. “By accelerating student learning and increasing parental involvement, we are laying the foundation for sustained success in our community.”
“The AFT Innovation Fund has given members the opportunity and the means to think creatively and develop new ways to solve some of the greatest challenges facing schools today,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “We’re focused on getting sustained results and sharing them with other educators across the country.”
Support for the AFT Innovation Fund comes from Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, as well as from the AFT. For more information, visit www.aft/innovate.