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Federal Grants Awarded to Improve K-12 Teaching in Minnesota




For Immediate Release

Contact: Sandy Connolly, Director of Communications
Office of Higher Education
(651) 259-3902

Nineteen grants totaling more than $1 million were awarded to Minnesota higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations to support improved K-12 instruction in mathematics, science, civics and government, economics, history and geography, the Office of Higher Education announced today.

"These professional development programs delivered by our colleges and universities provide tremendous value to Minnesota teachers, and in turn, their students," said Dr. Sheila Wright, Director for the Minnesota Office of Higher Education. "Program proposals are developed across the state and reflect some of the best ideas in teacher education and collaboration."

The grants, totaling $1,039,846, were made available with federal funds from the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. With the funds designated for higher education under this initiative, each state's higher education agency awards competitive grants to colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations working in partnership with one or more high-need school districts. The grants help school districts ensure that all students have teachers with the most current subject-matter knowledge and teaching skills to help all children achieve to high academic standards.

Grant recipients for 2011-2012 are:

  • University of Minnesota: Seven grants totaling $394,908
  • Hamline University: Two grants totaling $115,627
  • Macalester College: Two grants totaling $110,782
  • Bemidji State University: Two grants totaling $88,934
  • The Minnesota Council on Economic Education: Two grants totaling $109,563
  • The Bakken Museum: One grant for $59,316
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato: One grant for $60,000
  • The College of St. Scholastica: One grant for $52,136
  • Augsburg College: One grant for $48,580

Program proposals are selected on a competitive basis by educational experts.

Higher Education Projects Funded Under the Improving Teacher Quality Program of the No Child Left Behind Act
Project Description Grant Amount
I. Professional Development for Teachers in Science
Renewable Energy and Bioproducts
University of Minnesota
Biotechnology/Microbiology for Teachers in the Classroom (BioTIC)
Hamline University
Science Assets Teacher Academy: Electricity and Magnetism
The Bakken Museum
Schoolyard Ecology Explorations for Secondary Teachers
University of Minnesota
Monarchs and More: Insect Ecology for Elementary Teachers
University of Minnesota
Investigating Environment to Understand Concepts of Science in Grades K-8
University of Minnesota
Investigative Plant Biology for Elementary Teachers
University of Minnesota
Teaching Inquiry-based Minnesota Earth Science (TIMES Project)
Hamline University
The BSU Elementary Science Curriculum Institute for Addressing Science Standards
Bemidji State University
Inquiry-based Physical Science for Middle School Teachers
University of Minnesota
II. Professional Development Projects for Teachers in Mathematics
Combinatorics for Middle and Senior High School
Macalester College
Improving Student Outcomes thru Differentiating Instruction in Algebra and Statistics
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Foundations of Arithmetic I
Bemidji State University
Algebra and Reasoning
University of Minnesota
III. Professional Development Projects for Teachers in Social Studies
Inquiry and Research: An Interdisciplinary History Institute for K-12 Teachers
The College of St. Scholastica
Authentic Pedagogy for Integrating Reading, Writing, and Instructional
Technology into the New Minnesota Academic Standards for Geography
Using Paideia Seminars in History, Civics, and Geography
Augsburg College
Enhancing the Social Studies Curricula with Economics
Minnesota Council on Economic Education
Using Children's Literature to Teach Economics
Minnesota Council on Economic Education

In total, Minnesota received $38.5 million for 2010-2011 under the federal Improving Teacher Quality Program. The Minnesota Department of Education administers the larger portion of these funds for state and district-level teacher quality efforts. Federal awards are made to state agencies and local school districts to increase student achievement through strategies such as improving teacher quality and increasing the number of highly qualified teachers in the classroom.

A detailed description of grantees and programs is available on the Minnesota Office of Higher Education Website.

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