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FPN Florida Innovations Webinar
Empowering Effective Teachers: The Gates Foundation's Historic Investment in Hillsborough Schools

June 25, 2010
2:00 - 3:00 pm ET

Who Should Attend: Staff and board members of grantmaking organizations who are interested in new models for improving education outcomes in Florida.  This webinar is open to FPN members and non-member grantmakers only.
Cost: FPN members: no charge; Non-member grantmakers: $25.
To Register: Register Online.
Presenters: MaryEllen Elia, Superintendent, Hillsborough County School District; Teresa Rivero, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Ky Vu, Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Last November, Florida landed on the national stage of education reform when the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a major investment in teacher effectiveness in the Hillsborough County School District.  The foundation's $100 million, seven-year grant will support a new initiative in Hillsborough schools aimed at transforming the way the district recruits, trains and retains high-quality teachers.  In this FPN Florida Innovations Webinar, you'll learn more about the Hillsborough schools' initiative from school and foundation officials and get the latest updates on its progress.  You'll also hear about the Gates Foundation's education funding strategy and its approach to states overall and to Florida specifically.

The Hillsborough County School District - the nationís 8th-largest school district - plans to do things few school systems have ever attempted: give every new teacher a full-time mentor; create a corps of trained teacher-evaluators to rate every teacher in the 190,000-student district; and give high-performing rookie teachers a chance to out-earn veteran teachers on the pay scale.  The district's ultimate goal: ensure that every classroom has a highly effective teacher.

The Gates Foundation's grant in Hillsborough County is part of its $335 million investment in four school districts through its Intensive Partnership for Effective Teaching initiative.  Hillsborough received the largest grant of the four districts.  In awarding the grant, Gates Foundation officials noted the district's commitment to significant reform and the collaborative working relationship between the school district and the Classroom Teachers Association.  The Gates Foundation has committed up to $1 billion to school reform efforts, with the long-term goal of preparing 80 percent of the nation's children for college-level studies.

Please join us in this important FPN webinar to learn more about an innovative education reform effort in Florida and the Gates Foundation's education reform strategy.

Read This Before the Webinar

> Hillsborough Schools Win $100 Million Gates Teaching Grant
(St. Petersburg Times, 11/20/09)

> Innovation, Funding Make Better Teachers
(Editorial by Dennis Van Roekel, President of the National Education Association, St. Petersburg Times, 12/20/09)

> Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching Website
(Hillsborough County School District)

About the Presenters

MaryEllen EliaMaryEllen Elia was appointed Superintendent of Hillsborough County Public Schools on July 1, 2005. District schools have earned more A and B grades each year of her tenure as superintendent.  The district also earned its first overall A grade from the state of Florida for student achievement after her first year in office, and has earned two more since then.

A lifelong educator, Superintendent Elia began her career as a social studies teacher in the state of New York in 1970.  In 1986, she relocated to the Tampa Bay area after accepting a position at Plant High School as a reading resource specialist.  She was promoted to several key positions in the district over the next 20 years.  Superintendent Elia received The College Board's Outstanding Leadership award in 2009; the Florida Association of District School Superintendents' Superintendent's Award for Volunteer/Community Service in 2008/2009 and 2006/2007; and the Dr. Carlo Rodriguez Champion of School Choice award from the State Board of Education in 2008.  She was named Florida's Superintendent of the Year by the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations in 2007.

Teresa RiveroTeresa Rivero is a Senior Program Officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, managing its investments in education in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and North Carolina.  A native of Miami, Florida, Rivero previously served as Grant Officer for the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and affiliated foundations in Atlanta for nearly seven years.  She also worked at the Latin American Association as the Deputy Director, and as the Program Director for the Whitefoord Community Initiative.

Ky VuKy Vu serves as a Program Officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, managing the Empowering Effective Teachers grant portfolio.  In this role, he supports districts in developing fair and reliable measures of teacher effectiveness and using those measures to rethink how districts recruit, place, support, promote and reward effective teachers.  Vu previously worked in the San Francisco Unified School District as a Special Assistant to the Superintendent and then as Director for State & Federal Programs, overseeing the initiatives focused on closing the district's achievement gaps.



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