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The Education Innovator #V
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The Education Innovator
 February 17, 2003 • Number V
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What's New
Innovations in the News

Musée Curriculum Builder
The arts are being more and more integrated into the classroom to enhance the teaching of many different subjects. Where can a teacher get ideas to use shapes and patterns to teach math, for example? The Musée Curriculum Builder opens the doors of nearly 37,000 museums around the world to teachers at their desks. The database is a way for teachers to create and share classroom materials related to history, language arts, math, art, social studies, or any other area of study, drawing from museum resources. Using this website also helps teachers practice using technology more efficiently and managing information on the web.

This web-based tool has the following features:

  • Online training program to guide teachers in the use of the Internet;
  • Database of educational materials from museums around the world;
  • Keyword and geographic search components to easily access information;
  • Online templates and tools to create curriculum modules;
  • Curriculum modules already created using the Musée Builder and Database.
Musée Curriculum Builder is a nonprofit project supported by grants from the State of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Department of Education. [Note: Musée Curriculum Builder is now a service of Museum Partners] (Feb. 2005)

Note: The featured program is innovative but does not yet have evidence of general effectiveness from a rigorous evaluation. The success of the program may not be replicable, depending on unique conditions in differing locations.

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What's New


School Leadership
New Leaders for New Schools is accepting applications for its fellowship program. The deadline for application is April 9. This is a national training program for principals. For more information about program content and how to apply, please visit the New Leaders for New Schools website. (Feb. 2003)


Education Reform
It has been 20 years since the report A Nation At Risk was released by the U.S. Department of Education. A new report, Our Schools and Our future...Are We Still at Risk? has been released by the Hoover Institution. This report concludes that change is still needed, and it offers recommendations based on three core principles: accountability, choice, and transparency. (Feb. 2003)


American History
The National Archives and National History Day, Inc. are pleased to announce a unique opportunity for history and social studies teachers to develop document-based lesson plans for national awards and distribution. "Teaching Our Documents: A National History Day Lesson Competition for Educators" invites teachers to develop and test a classroom lesson focusing on one or several of the 100 Milestone Documents in United States History. Awards in four categories will be announced at the annual National History Day national competition June 15-19, 2003 at the University of Maryland at College Park. Winners will have lessons published and receive prizes at a national ceremony. For contest rules and instructions, see "Teacher's Toolbox." (Feb. 11)


Teacher Quality
The Manhattan Institute's Education Research Office offers an online collection of education facts. For example, the average teacher's starting salary in the U.S., in constant 1999-2000 dollars, was $27,232 in 1990-91. It was only $27,989 in 1999-2000. The rise was only 2.8 percent. The Institute's article in National Review Online gives an explanation of the growth rate and information about teachers' salaries in individual states. (Feb. 10)


From OII
In a recent interview, Deputy Under Secretary for Innovation and Improvement Nina S. Rees outlines some of the goals of the new Office of Innovation and Improvement. Some key points she makes are:
  • Our focus is not just to use this office to better invest in innovative programs through discretionary grants, but also to bring more attention to the need for parental choice and options in schools.
  • We have a broad portfolio of programs. Almost all of them are focused on innovation and range from programs like public school choice, magnet schools, charter schools, ...down to a variety of smaller programs.
  • We're here to help and we want to make sure our programs are aligned with the goals of No Child Left Behind. (Feb. 10)
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Innovations in the News

Charter Schools
Maryland is one of 11 states without a charter school law. Governor Robert Ehrlich is working to bring charter schools to Maryland. [More-Washington Times] (Feb. 9)

Reading
Reading Is Fundamental, an OII-funded program, serves about 22,000 children in Austin, Texas. Research shows that having books of their own helps enhance children's literacy. [More-News 8 Austin] (Jan. 18)

Supplemental Educational Services
Parents of students from schools in need of improvement in Rochester, NY, learned about free tutoring for their children at a meeting with school district officials. Parents appreciate having this option. [More-WROC-TV] (Jan. 22)

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Last Modified: 04/26/2011