Office of Innovation and Improvement
Parental Options and Improvement
Parental Options and Information (POI), headed by a Director, reports to the Associate Deputy Under Secretary for Parental Options and Information. It oversees Department activities that support alternatives in education including magnet schools, public school choice, and that support community organizations that effectively inform parents of their options. Specifically, it has lead responsibility for:
- Magnet Schools
- Voluntary Public School Choice
- Parent Information Resource Centers
- Full Service Community Schools
- High Quality Supplemental Educational Services and After-School Partnerships Demonstration Grants
- DC School Choice Incentive Program
- Arts in Education Programs
The administration of these programs involves the development of legislative proposals; formulation of program regulations and policies; the establishment of management goals and priorities; the provision of leadership and information to the education community and others concerned with the issues addressed by the programs; the design and conduct of grant selection procedures; the selection of grant recipients; technical assistance for prospective grant applicants; project monitoring; and technical assistance and guidance to grant recipients to promote project success.
POI coordinates with other Offices on issues that impact charter schools, magnet schools, and public school choice. It also develops communications materials, including speeches, talking points websites, brochures and other appropriate materials that promote the Department’s positions on expanded parental choice in education.
The Office develops guidance and procedures that leverage competitive grant programs to support innovative approaches and rigorously evaluate their impact, and shares this expertise with other Offices with responsibility for overseeing competitive grant programs. It works with the Center on Education Evaluation in OERI to coordinate rigorous evaluations of a select number of the Office’s programs. It also widely disseminates the findings from evaluations to other offices and the field.