The U.S. Department of Education, ASCD and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) are collaborating to provide direct support to teachers to strengthen professional development and improve student outcomes.

Through the new Teacher Impact Grants (TIG) program from ASCD, teachers will be able to develop, expand and evaluate promising practices and programs that can transform the academic trajectory of students. These teacher-led projects and programs can impact the quality of teaching in the classroom, in schools and throughout school districts.

The grants will be awarded directly to teachers for research-based initiatives they believe will accelerate learning and improve student outcomes. The grant program is part of Teach to Lead, an initiative jointly convened between the U.S. Department of Education, ASCD and NBPTS to cultivate the expertise of teachers to drive transformation in schools, districts and states.

“Effective teachers make the difference, and all students should have access to great teaching and to great opportunities in the classroom,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “Given the proper tools, resources and supports, we know that teachers can transform students’ lives.

“Many teachers have the real-world knowledge and expertise to develop innovative classroom-, school-, or district-level initiatives to drive positive outcomes for students, but may not have the resources to bring their ideas to fruition. Funding from the Teacher Impact Grants will enable teachers to fund projects and programs that can transform and reshape the learning environment, and improve educational outcomes for students.”

“ASCD’s Teacher Impact Grants complement the work we’ve jointly shepherded through Teach to Lead – empowering teachers as leaders,” said Peggy Brookins, a National Board certified teacher, and president and CEO of the National Board. “We must do all that we can to elevate teacher expertise, providing resources to help them best meet the needs of their students, their schools and their districts. The Teacher Impact Grants will be an important lever to move this forward.”

Research consistently shows that high-quality teaching leads to better student outcomes. TIG gets to the heart of high-quality teaching by funding promising teacher-led professional learning that will ultimately lead to transforming traditional top-down, compliance-driven professional learning that has not necessarily led to gains in student achievement. Moreover, through TIG, teachers will assume greater ownership in the design of high-quality learning environments for all students. Projects funded by the grants will be disseminated as models to the broader field.

The application process opens May 16. Teacher leaders can submit their proposal here. Grant proposals will be evaluated by a group of peer reviewers selected by the U.S. Department of Education, ASCD and NBPTS. Grant amounts will range from $5,000 to $15,000 and will fund diverse teacher projects across the country that will be implemented during the 2016-17 school year.