Support for Education
The Rainwater Charitable Foundation supports educational programs with a demonstrated track record of success, strong leadership and the ability to scale programs to broaden their impact. We currently focus on early childhood education and school leadership development, in addition to broader regional birth-through-12th grade education efforts in South Carolina and Fort Worth, Texas.
Early Childhood Education
Research strongly supports our belief that early nurturing and learning experiences from ages 0 to 5 greatly impact a student’s success in school, career and life. The early years are also the most economically efficient time to invest in our children. RCF seeks to promote and scale high-quality early education programs, and create contexts and conditions that allow high-quality early education providers to thrive.
School Leadership Development
Research indicates that quality teaching is the most effective lever to improve student achievement, with one often-cited study suggesting that top-quartile teaching instruction four years in a row could effectively eliminate the profound achievement gap between white and non-white students in this country.
The principal is the best-positioned person in every school to ensure successive years of quality teaching for each child. Exemplary principals establish a climate that values effective teaching and ensures that the most promising teachers are selected, all teachers are developed and recognized, and those teachers who are not doing well by children are released. It is the combination of highly effective teaching with highly capable school leadership that will change outcomes for children in our schools.
Understanding the importance of training quality school leaders, the RCF formed the Rainwater Leadership Alliance (RLA) in 2008, which consisted of school districts, foundations and nonprofits dedicated to promoting quality school leadership. In 2010, the RLA compiled its knowledge into the publication A New Approach to Principal Preparation to serve as a guideline for other school leadership training programs.