Friday, April 20, 2012

NWP Lands Professional Development Grant

Bill Tucker

As soon as the earmarked funding for the National Writing Project was eliminated by Congress last spring, NWP cast its net into other waters. The resulting catch brought new funding, some of which can replace the former funds. In March of this year NWP was awarded $11.3 million for its proposal entitled:
“The National Writing Project: Leveraging a National Improvement Infrastructure for Professional Development to Improve Writing Instruction for All Students.”
This is a one‐year grant.

The grant was announced to Writing Project sites in late March with the first RFP (Request for Proposals), which is due May 1. The other two RFP’s are due May 15 and June 1 respectively.

RFP #1 – Teacher Leadership Development
Grant for sites interested in investing in teacher leadership programming for a minimum of 20 teachers in the 2012‐2013 program year. Proposals Due: May 1, 2012 Award Amount: $20,000

This grant resembles our previous funding in its goals and requirements and will more or less substitute for what we had been accustomed to for twenty years. Of course it is less than half of what we used to receive, but it allow us to give fellowships to the institute participants this summer and support disciplinary literacy, professional development, and Family Literacy in smaller measure than we did before. Look for the announcement of new positions when we receive news of our funding in June.

The second and third RFP’s are competitive and targeted at “high need schools.” Both invite a Writing Project site to do intensive professional development in schools with documented socio-economic disadvantages and weak performances in writing. This would be the most challenging professional development we have done, but our teacher consultants bring diverse and cumulative experience to bear on this challenge.

RFP#2: Evaluating the Impact of Professional Development to Meet Challenging Writing Standards in High‐ Need Elementary Schools
Grant for sites that have a track record of providing sustained professional development services focused on teaching writing in high‐ need elementary schools. This strand includes an independent evaluation component that focuses on teacher and student outcomes.
RFP Available: April 3, 2012 Proposals Due: May 15, 2012 Award Amount: $20,000 per treatment school, $3,000 per control school for 25 school pairs

This RFP was issued in early April. We are already looking for candidate schools for it.

We have not yet seen RFP #3. The summary description is
RFP#3: Professional Development in High‐ Need Schools
Grant for sites interested in providing intensive professional development in a high‐ need school as a part of new or ongoing programming.
RFP Available: April 16, 2012 Proposals Due: June 1, 2012
Award Amount: $20,000 per school served for 75 schools

If anyone has a school in mind for this grant and is willing to investigate the potential, contact Sarah Lorenz ( or Bill Tucker (

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