Baltimore applies for federal innovation grants
No one can accuse Baltimore's public school system of not pushing some new ideas in education. The system has recently filed four applications for about $23 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Education. There will be some tough competition for this money. Some 1,700 nonprofits and school districts have applied for the school districts competition, including 30 in Maryland. The first of the applications could be the most innovative because it would require a change in the old model for how teachers are compensated. The grant calls for a Career Ladder that rewards teachers for the amount of professional development they get and their ability to apply what they learn, rather than paying teachers as they get more advanced degrees. The grant would also pay for a data system to track whether the professional development that teachers are getting is having an impact in the classroom.
The other three applications would go to fund a Family Institute to give parents more information about child development and how they can help their children achieve, a program for improving nutrition and fitness in 10 high poverty schools and a program to do on-site, two-day reviews of schools every three years.