Office of Innovation and Improvement
D. Parental Options and Information
Parental Options and Information (OPOI), headed by a Director, reports to the Associate Assistant Deputy Secretary for Improvement and Reform. It oversees Department activities that support alternatives in education including charter schools, magnet schools, public school choice, and that support community organizations that effectively inform parents of their options. Specifically, it has lead responsibility for:
- Charter Schools
- Charter School Facilities-Credit Enhancement
- Charter School Facilities-State Incentive
- Magnet Schools
- Voluntary Public School Choice
- Parent Information and Resource Centers
- DC School Choice Incentive Program
OPOI also administers congressional earmark projects that are usually tied to the mission of the office.
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.
OPOI 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 IES 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.