The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation's grantmaking for K-12 education comes with good news and bad news. The good news is that the Florida-based philanthropist focuses its efforts on programs to strengthen teachers and instruction. The bad news is that the foundation's Secondary Education program is limited to high school teachers only. Elementary and middle school teachers will have to look elsewhere for their professional development needs.
For organizations that provide professional development to teachers of grades 9-12, Davis has grants for projects to make more effective teachers across the curriculum. Grants have funded in-service professional development, training in the use of technology to deliver instruction, teaching skills, and research on teacher education. Recipient organizations include colleges and universities, museums, zoos, and other educational service providers. This funder especially encourages high school-university partnerships. Recent grant recipients have included the Center for Teaching Quality in North Carolina, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Middlebury College, the National Humanities Center, the University of Delaware, and the San Diego Zoological Society.
Grantseekers interested in Davis funding for their high school teacher training programs should bear two words in mind: evaluation and replicability. Organizations should be able to demonstrate the impact of their programs through evaluation activities. Got a program that makes science and math teachers more effective? Show this funder the data that backs up your claim.
But replicability is most important. If the program you want funded trains teachers in your local high schools, fine. The key question is can that program be just as effective in other schools, cities, and states. If the answer is yes, contact Davis (and yes, show them the data). If the answer is no, you’re not likely to get support.
Davis grants for high school teacher training and development range from $100,000 to $200,000. The foundation prefers to work with colleges, universities, and nonprofits that collaborate with school systems. The foundation rarely provides grants directly to individual high schools or school districts.