Friday, April 27, 2012

ED Announces "Together for Tomorrow School Improvement Challenge"

Last week, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced the Together for Tomorrow (TFT) School Improvement Challenge, a nationwide competition intended to strengthen and highlight both new and existing school-community partnerships. TFT, which is a collaborative effort between ED, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, seeks to promote community involvement in efforts to improve outcomes for students at persistently low-performing schools across the country. This competition will challenge partnerships to develop plans to, or show evidence of, measurable progress on "the ABCs": student Attendance, Behavior, Course performance, and College access. The School Improvement Challenge is not a grant program, but rather an opportunity for communities and schools to come together to share best practices in their efforts - at the local, regional, state or national level - to improve academic outcomes for the students who are most in need.

While there are no monetary awards, the competition offers a number of benefits. All applicants whose applications meet the basic requirements will be invited to take part in a community of practice that will help partnerships across the country to share their strategies and improve their efforts to engage communities in school transformation. Honorees in each of three categories - "Emerging", for initiatives proposed for the 2012 - 2013 school year; "Showcase - Local" for existing initiatives operating at the local or community level; and "Showcase - Multisite" for existing initiatives with multiple sites at the regional, state or national level - will also be invited to send representatives to an event hosted by the TFT partners. 

Eligible applicants for the School Improvement Challenge include "nonprofit organizations, schools, school districts, or institutions of higher education". The deadline to submit an application is June 29, 2012. Prizes will be announced no later September 15, 2012.

Successful school improvement efforts need the support and contributions of teachers, principals, and other school staff. But many of the factors that impact student achievement exist in families and communities. Having a variety of stakeholders who share high expectations for all students and are committed to supporting young people both when they are in school and when they are in the community can help to boost academic performance and make school improvements sustainable over the longer term.

For additional information on TFT and the School Improvement Challenge you can visit the initiative's official website, which contains the competition's complete rules and these Frequently Asked Questions.

No comments:

Post a Comment