"This is by far the biggest grant that Denver Public Schools has ever received," Tom Boasberg, superintendent of Denver Public Schools, said.
DPS worked closely with the Denver Classroom Teachers Association to obtain the grant of $10 million over three years. The teachers union president wants the Mile High City to be the leader in defining what makes a teacher effective.
"We're also going to pay close attention to a targeted professional development and the information that will be captured with the teacher assessment tool," DCTA President Henry Roman said.
Roman says the grant will work will with a couple other programs going on in DPS right now. Denver is continuing its ProComp program where some teachers' salaries are tied to the academic performance of the students in their classrooms.
Denver is also participating in a national study called the Measures of Effective Teaching project where specific techniques will be broken down so teachers in other districts could use them in classrooms across the country.
The grant will help establish a system of veteran teachers mentoring new ones. It will create a peer review process where teachers will help evaluate each other instead of just being judged by administrators.
Part of the $10 million will be used to support salaries to keep talented teachers from leaving the district.
"This is our single highest priority to work on doing everything we can to make sure our most effective teachers in the classroom, our most effective teachers serving our highest needs students," Boasberg said.
Boasberg hopes that in the end, Denver will be a national leader in finding a new way to evaluate teachers and reward them for academic growth in the classroom. He hopes to create a model for other districts to copy.
"This grant is a very, very exciting opportunity for us to advance the most important work that we have," Boasberg said.
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