AASA Receives New Grant to Redesign Professional Development in K-12 Schools


James Minichello

703-774-6953 (cell)


Alexandria, Va. – Feb. 3, 2016 – AASA, The School Superintendents Association, has been awarded a $748,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to enhance teaching and learning excellence in our nation’s classrooms by redesigning professional development systems. 

“Superintendent Leadership for PD Redesign,” a two-year initiative, will optimize programs that empower teacher ownership of high-quality PD content linked to high standards. 

AASA, founded in 1865, is the premier organization for our nation’s superintendents serving thousands of education leaders. A voice for school district leadership, AASA will leverage this investment to address the systems and structures that superintendents rely on to implement high-quality teacher professional development. 

“We are grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for supporting our efforts to engage district leaders in the redesign and advancement of innovative, high-quality teacher professional development that will lead to higher achievement on the part of our students,” said Daniel A. Domenech, AASA executive director.

A major component of the project will scale up efforts for on-the-ground intervention with four large urban school districts—Fulton County (Ga.) Schools, the Syracuse City (N.Y.) School District, Baltimore County (Md.) Public Schools and the School District of Palm Beach County (Fla.). AASA will provide technical assistance and coaching in these districts to help superintendents and their respective teams analyze, assess and plan for improvements with the goal of increasing teacher effectiveness. 

A second component, the “AASA PD Redesign Community of Practice,” focuses on providing superintendents opportunities to learn from each other and share best practices for developing instructional leaders. This Community of Practice, whose members lead more than 1.25 million students, will serve as a cornerstone of AASA’s PD effort and consist of a high-profile working group comprised of superintendents in the following school districts: Palm Beach County and Orange County (Fla.), Fulton County, Clayton County and Clarke County (Ga.), Bettendorf Community (Iowa), Prince George’s County and Baltimore County (Md.), Winston-Salem Forsyth County (N.C.), Syracuse City, Schenectady City and Newburgh Enlarged City (N.Y.), Harrisburg (Penn.), Charleston County (S.C.), Kingsport City (Tenn.), Spring ISD, Austin ISD and Katy ISD (Texas), Richmond, Arlington and Fairfax County (Va.) and Racine Unified (Wis.). 

AASA’s Children’s Programs department, which will administer this initiative, works to support school districts by analyzing current practices, identifying ideas for improvement, and implementing policy, practice and programmatic changes to enhance and redesign teacher professional development systems. 

Learn more by visiting the AASA website.  


About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.