School Selection Criteria
Visit. Candidacy for selection begins with an in-depth visit by an individual TEAAr or a group of us. Since 2003 we have visited over 80 schools. We meet administrators, teachers and students. We look at their libraries and books, labs and equipment, classrooms, computing facilities, dormitories and more. An explicit follow-up recommendation by a TEAA visitor is necessary for consideration of assistance to a particular school. Our process takes into account the following points:
Leadership. There should be dynamic leadership by the head of the school. This person should have a vision for improvement that emerges from discussion or is already articulated in school documents. We also try to judge whether there is enough momentum in the system as a whole for it to continue to improve if this individual departs.
Collaboration. The school should be willing to work with TEAA by communicating with our president regularly (3-4 times a year), by accommodating 1-2 TEAArs should they visit, and by willingness to participate in teacher training.
Significance. To make a noticeable and sustainable difference with a modest-sized grant, we seek a school that is good, improving and has moderate other support, yet has important, visible remaining needs. Most frequently our grants finance textbooks, science laboratory equipment, computers, and books for recreational reading. As a relationship with a school deepens, TEAA may consider support in other areas.