Improving Teacher Quality Grants

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The Department of Higher Education administered funding from the Title II: Part A of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 for several professional development partnerships through the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Improving Teacher Quality State Grant Program.

Each funded partnership included at least one institution of higher education as the lead, a high-need school district, and one or more non-profit education partners serving children in the school districts. Funds were used to conduct professional development activities in core academic subjects and the science of early learning to ensure that teachers, paraprofessionals, and principals have content knowledge that will enhance children’s learning. Awards were made for up to four years, on conditions of yearly progress and continued federal appropriation. The ESEA grant has been replaced by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) grant, which does not include an allocation to state higher education authorities. The grant ended in September 2018.

Resource: Early Learning Projects Toolkit

The Early Learning Projects Toolkit is a digital ‘how-to’ resource that can be utilized for any entity wishing to improve learning experiences and outcomes for children from preschool through grade 3. The ELP Toolkit focuses on an ecological frame for the professional development and education of the early childhood workforce in a publicly funded mixed delivery system. It includes a project overview including the central concept for the projects and chapters on the four essential structural elements that contributed to the success of the projects—Higher Education, Communities, Classrooms and the ECE Workforce.

Funding for the development of the ELP Toolkit was included in Year 4 of projects in the most recent grant cycle. As a resource developed by funding from the US Department of Education and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, it is available to the public at no cost.

Recent Projects

On August 16, 2013, the Department of Higher Education announced several grants for proposals submitted in the new cycle of the federal Title II Part A: Improving Teacher Quality Grant Program. The funds were used for professional development activities in Early Learning to ensure that early educators increase content and pedagogical knowledge in the science of early learning, in ways that would serve to help prevent and close achievement gaps for children.

Institution(s) Project Name Year 1 Award 2014 Year 2 Award 2015 Year 3 Award 2016 Year 4 Award 2017
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
  • North Adams Public Schools
  • Northern Berkshire School Union
  • Adams Cheshire Public Schools
  • Berkshire County Head Start
  • Pittsfield Public Schools
  • The Clark
  • Berkshire Museum
  • Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Child Care of the Berkshires
Berkshire Early Learning Lab $107,827 $107,827 $399,461 $323,564
University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Chelsea Public Schools
  • CAPIC Head Start
Chelsea Achieves in Mathematics $116,480 $116,480 $277,948 $194,459
University of Massachusetts Boston
  • Lowell Public Schools  (LPS)
  • Coordinated Family & Community Engagement Council
  • LPS Birth to Grade 3 Alignment
  • Early Childhood Associates
Higher Order Teaching $147,374 $147,374 $147,374 $225,137
Worcester State University
  • Quinsigamond Community College
  • Worcester Public Schools
  • Worcester Head Start
  • Ecotarium
  • Mass Audubon Broad Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary
Using Science to Strengthen and Align Early Childhood Teaching $95,461 $110,062 $120,903 $97,931

Past Projects


On-line Reporting

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