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Education and Professional Studies

CWU Participates in $3 Million Grant to Improve Teaching, Student Achievement

January 23, 2013

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — Central Washington University’s College of Education and Professional Studies, along with five other higher educational institutions, will participate in a $3 million grant from the US Department of Education. The Investment in Innovation (i3) grant is designed to advance student achievement in high-need elementary schools mathematics and science through improved teacher preparation and early-career teaching support.

“CWU was invited to participate in the grant by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, based on the recommendations of education Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA). Our teacher preparation program uses their groundbreaking Teacher Performance Assessment in the evaluation of student teachers,” stated Andrea Sledge, CWU’s site coordinator for the grant. Sledge is also the coordinator of ProTeach and National Board of Certified Teachers (NBCT) candidate programs, and professor in the Department of Language, Literacy, and Special Education.

The grant was awarded to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards for the project, Building a Pipeline of Teaching Excellence. The National Board will provide videos and written analyses—called “cases”—to teacher candidates and new teachers. These cases were submitted by board-certified teachers during the certification process. The cases will be housed in an online resource called Accomplished Teaching, Learning, and Schools (ATLAS).

ATLAS cases are designed to bring accomplished teaching to life for prospective teachers. Accompanied by instructional guidelines developed with project partners, the ATLAS cases will provide access to the knowledge and skills of accomplished teachers, improving the practices of teachers at all stages of their career. These real-world examples will allow student-teachers to incorporate successful methods and techniques into their practice and use them to drive student learning.

CWU’s teacher education program produced some of the highest numbers of national board-certified teachers in 2011. Washington's Teacher of the Year 2012, Jeff Charbonneau, completed Central’s NBCT Candidate Support Program, and designed its online NBCT candidate support program.

The target population for this project will be students in grades 3-6 and their teachers from seven school districts in Washington, New York, and Tennessee. The seven school districts serve at least 70,000 total students in grades 3-6; of those, more than 65 percent are high-need students

CWU will be partnered with West Valley School District in Yakima and Educational Service District 105 (central Washington). Other local participants in the grant include Seattle Public Schools and the University of Washington.

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518, valeriec@cwu.edu