The University of Arkansas issued a news release this morning confirming a project I mentioned yesterday morning — a Walton Family Foundation grant to work with teachers in high-poverty schools.
The release says the foundation will spend $10.2 million over three years
Smith and Ritter will hire about a dozen people who will provide training over the summer and
The idea was inspired by federal legislation that encouraged teacher training apart from traditional licensure programs, the release said.
The news release doesn’t mention it, but Poore said — and emails among participants indicate — there’s been
Jared Henderson, who has led Teach for America’s operation on Arkansas, has been a participant in planning for the project.
The UA resisted for a week providing information about the project and refused to answer my specific questions, which directly related to information provided in the news release this morning. This is in keeping with UA’s typical secretive handling of matters financed by Walton money. A key project funded in the past by the Waltons is the “education reform” unit at UA, which produces supporting work for, among other things, their charter school agenda. Ritter, who holds a chair endowed by Walton money, emphasized that this latest project addresses “traditional public schools.” The project will include an “evaluation and research component.”
UPDATE: Here’s the full outline of the grant application with the conditions to be met by UA in fulfilling it. It anticipates working with 10 school districts in time (three the first year) and attempting to recruit 200 master degree candidates over three years. Test scores will be among the indicators of success in the program.