Diverse, Effective Educators
We invest in building educator pathways that enable diverse, highly skilled individuals to deploy their talents in schools across the state. This includes supporting efforts that advance the profession by creating favorable policy conditions and attracting diverse candidates to education. Additionally, we focus on providing high-quality, culturally relevant educator preparation that includes clinically-rich experiences. These experiences should provide aspiring teachers and school leaders with opportunities to practice and receive meaningful feedback. Once these individuals begin teaching and leading, we aim to support schools and districts in recruiting and retaining the best talent possible.
As we work to create a more diverse pool of effective educators, our grantmaking criteria emphasize efforts that:
- Advance the education profession by attracting diverse candidates to the field and ensuring that state and district policies increase educator quality and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Build innovative educator preparation pathways that:
- Advance high-quality approaches to educator preparation for diverse candidates;
- Support data sharing and use among preparation providers and partner schools and districts; and
- Enhance school and district capacity to effectively recruit and retain educators in high-quality, culturally responsive schools
We also invest in strategies to engage families and communities as the most credible constituency for education systems change. We support opportunities for families to have meaningful voice in decisions that affect their children at the school, district, and state levels. We do this by partnering with community-based organizations that provide high-quality, culturally relevant information to families and enhance families’ capacity to act on that information in ways that reflect their particular contexts and their children’s needs.
As we support informed and engaged families in advocating for school system conditions that enable their students’ success, our grantmaking criteria emphasize efforts that:
- Improve family and community access to high quality and culturally relevant information about schools and school systems
- Enhance family and community capacity to advocate for improved policies and practices at the school, district and state levels
In implementing both of our strategies, we emphasize:
- That every child deserves access to high quality, culturally responsive schools staffed by diverse, effective educators
- Innovation, including creating flexible policy environments with lower barriers to entry for promising new solutions
- Efforts that are responsive to community context and anchored in experience and evidence
- Opportunities for families and communities to meaningfully influence education systems
- Generating, synthesizing, and communicating data on educator effectiveness, student performance, school quality, and opportunity gaps, with an emphasis on information that is relevant and actionable for families and schools
- Increased opportunities for shared learning and collaboration among our partners
- Leveraging McKnight’s credible influence to build coalitions across issue areas
- Flexible use of McKnight’s robust toolkit, including grantmaking, collaboration, policy reform, research, and communications
In addition to the strategies above, the E&L program funds Youthprise, an intermediary organization that invests in the future of Minnesota by investing in youth. Guided by a commitment to racial equity, Youthprise works to transform how funders, institutions, providers and communities work with youth.
Prior Funding in Early Literacy
Theory of Change
How to Apply
We invite organizations to apply for funding related to advancing the education profession or engaging families. Learn more about eligibility requirements, submission criteria, deadlines on our how to apply page.
We use a closed application process to advance our work building innovative educator preparation pathways. Proposals for funding are accepted only from organizations that are invited to apply.
Key Documents and Links