A recently formed Cincinnati education-focused nonprofit announced today that it will hand out its first two grants — totaling more than $1.4 million — to aid two different projects at Cincinnati Public Schools and two local Catholic schools.
Accelerate Great Schools, a nonprofit made up of business leaders, educators and philanthropists, will be giving a grant of $128,000 to help aid a partnership between CPS and the nonprofit TNTP (formally The New Teacher Project) in developing a better hiring system for its principals. It will also give a grant of up to $1.3 million to help St. Francis de Sales in Walnut Hills and St. Cecilia School in Oakley to implement a blended learning model next school year with the help of the nonprofit Seton Education Partners, which works with disadvantaged students in Catholic schools.
Accelerate Great Schools held the press conference at St. Joseph's Catholic School in the West End, which has had Seton's blended learning model in place since the last school year. The technology-driven approach to education would have students using software on computers for part of their classroom experience.
The separate $128,000 grant would aid a partnership between CPS and TNTP to work with the school district's leadership to improve their hiring system for the district's principals.
The make-up of the seven-month-old nonprofit's leadership leans heavier on the side of business leaders and philanthropists than on educators. Some have questioned the motives behind the group, wondering if they're actually most interested in promoting the charter schools in the city. The group's initial plan for the money when it launched last May had $15 million going toward creating charter schools that would partner with CPS or the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.