The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will give $290 million to three school districts and a group of charter schools to study ways to improve teacher effectiveness. Grants will go to a coalition of Los Angeles charter schools as well as the public schools in Memphis, Pittsburgh and Florida's Hillsborough County, which have each agreed to be test cases for new initiatives in teacher assessment, compensation, tenure, mentoring and training. The foundation has allocated another $45 million for research on teacher quality.

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