A few weeks ago when a small group of CLASS leaders had the opportunity to meet with US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan they took the time to be candid with him about CLASS Project as well as the challenges and opportunities of the federal Teacher Incentive Fund grant. See more photos on our Facebook page.
Chalkboard has been working with districts through the CLASS Project for over four years, but the Teacher Incentive Fund grant is relatively new to Oregon. We helped seven Oregon districts apply for the TIF funds in 2010 as a way to fund their CLASS Project work. With its focus on a comprehensive system for supporting effective educators through expanded career paths, relevant professional development, effective performance evaluations and new compensation models CLASS was a good fit to receive TIF funding. We were pleased to receive $24.4 million for five years of planning and implementation.
Although CLASS is the foundation of TIF in the seven districts that received federal funds, the federal grant has its own specific requirements and timelines. Here’s a quick chart that describes some of those differences:
We know that the TIF work is complex and the federal requirements put extra pressure on the participating districts, but the grant also provides an opportunity for Oregon educators to be part of the national conversation around educator effectiveness and new compensation models.
The meeting with Secretary Duncan was a rare opportunity, but the chance for Oregon educators to give their perspective on education policy issues should be a regular occurrence. Through both CLASS and TIF educators are leading the conversation about changing their profession and creating the models we can all learn from.
We invite you to learn more about the Teacher Incentive Fund grant by taking a look at the materials posted here: http://chalkboardproject.org/what-we-do/class-project/. Feel free to post questions here or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.