A new opportunity to diversify the teacher workforce.

The Opportunity

This RFP is now closed.

At Barr, we believe that every student deserves a high-quality education, where they are known, challenged, and supported. We are teaming up with TNTP, an organization with over 20 years of experience partnering with schools and educators to close achievement gaps, improve classroom instruction, and develop talented, diverse educator workforces. Earlier this summer, we discussed the importance of teacher diversity for student outcomes in this blog post.

Research demonstrates that a diverse workforce of talented teachers is good for all children, schools, and communities, and especially for students of color. Yet in many states and districts, there is a sizeable diversity gap between students and teachers. While 53% of students in the United States identify as people of color, 80% of teachers are white, and 40% of public schools don’t have a single teacher of color. This imbalance holds true in New England.

Districts, LEAs, CMOs, individual schools and education organizations across New England have named diversification of their teacher workforces as a key priority - recruiting more diverse teachers and developing and retaining current teachers of color. To advance this work, and to ultimately create more equitable experiences for students, school networks are developing and refining long-term plans to attract, support, and retain teachers of color.

We are proud to announce a new RFP, in partnership with TNTP, to support a cohort of New England public schools with a comprehensive analysis of their current teacher workforces. Participating districts will receive a summary of findings and trends, along with concrete steps they can take in the short- and long-term to ensure they have diverse and effective educator teams.

This Request for Proposals (RFP) is highlighted in our recent blog post, "Barr and TNTP Announce New RFP for Districts to Recruit and Retain Teachers of Color."

Partnering with TNTP

Drawing on their deep, national expertise, TNTP will collect and analyze quantitative data, review systems and processes, and gather input from staff, students, families, and other community stakeholders. While the specific questions and data sources will be customized to align to each grantee’s priorities, the analysis could include:

  • Quantitative Analysis: TNTP will look at historical student achievement and human capital data to understand strengths, patterns, and experiences of teachers of color and of students.
  • Stakeholder Interviews and Focus Groups: A key component of the analysis will be understanding the experience of students, educators, community members, and families/caregivers. To develop a more complete understanding of the system’s talent practices and how they are perceived by those who experience them, TNTP will conduct interviews or small focus groups with representatives from key stakeholder groups, including teachers, families, and students.
  • National Research: To pinpoint strengths and opportunities for enhancement in the system’s approach to talent, TNTP will compare the system’s policies to research-backed best practices in recruitment, selection, staffing, retention, career pathways, compensation, and/or school design.

After compiling the data, conducting thorough analysis, and synthesizing trends, TNTP will share a summary report that includes concrete steps grantees can take in the short and long term to ensure they have diverse and effective educator teams. This process will take about eight months, lasting from November 2021 through June 2022.

This RFP aligns with the Invest in Educators work within Barr’s Education program strategy, which seeks to dramatically increase teacher and leader capacity in order to support and sustain high-quality personalized high schools that put success within reach of all students across Massachusetts.

Who We're Looking For

Any single LEA is welcome to apply, as well as a group of LEAs interested in a regional analysis, or a regional consortium or collaborative of LEAs or schools organized around common goals or interests. Applicants must be located in New England (Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut) and have a demonstrated commitment to rethinking their talent systems, structures, and processes and revising their retention strategy with the explicit goal of building a stronger, more diverse teacher workforce for the purpose of ensuring equitable outcomes for students. Applicants serving at least some high school students, and at least 35% students of color are eligible.


Please note the following timeline for the RFP:

  • August 9, 2021: RFP released
  • August 25, 2021: Webinar for prospective applicants. Recording and slides are available below.
  • October 1, 2021: Proposals due
  • October 28, 2021: Awards announced
  • November 2021 – June 2022: Grant period

Webinar and Office Hours

Watch the webinar recording below to learn more about this RFP opportunity before submitting your proposal. The webinar was held on Wednesday, August 25th from 2pm - 3pm ET.

View the webinar slides

Office Hours

Applicants are encouraged to sign up for optional office hours if you would like to discuss your proposal with a member of the Barr Foundation team. Please email EducationRFP[at]barrfoundation.org to sign up for office hours.

For more information on this opportunity, please read our Frequently Asked Questions.

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