The Education Innovator #21
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The Education Innovator
 July 21, 2003 • Number 21
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What's inside...
JASON Foundation for Education
What's New
Department awards grant to Teacher Advancement Program; Secretary Paige sends "Meeting the Highly Qualified Teachers Challenge" report to Congress; OII sponsors school choice events in Detroit; and OII posts letter on military recruiter provisions in No Child Left Behind.
Innovations in the News
Teachers benefit from the Teaching American History grant program, plus information on charter schools, virtual schools, and teacher certification.

JASON Foundation for Education Aims to Bring Real-Life Adventure to Science
The JASON Foundation for Education provides experience-based science and math curriculum and teacher professional development to benefit students in grades 4-9.

Using multimedia tools and access to leading scientists, JASON combines scientific expeditions, standards-based classroom curriculum and accredited professional development for teachers to deliver real-life adventures in learning. The JASON Project aims to inspire over 1.5 million students with a lifelong passion for science and math, inside the classroom and beyond. JASON's curriculum is endorsed by the National Science Teachers Association.

JASON offers its 34,000 teachers on-site and online workshops, seminars and summer institutes linked to the JASON Project curriculum. The JASON Academy, launched in 2001 through Star Schools funding administered by the Office of Innovation and Improvement, offers teachers online science and math courses for continuing education units and undergraduate or graduate credit. In its first two years the Academy has received over 1,400 registrations and signed licensing agreements with several colleges and universities, as well as with Frey Scientific.

To assess the effectiveness of its programs, the foundation has looked at student performance. JASON's third-year evaluation reveals that JASON students outscored non-JASON students on performance-based tests and questions about content. The evaluation also shows measurable student improvement in manipulating scientific data.

Jason has received 26 national awards since it was founded in 1989. It has a number of education sponsors and partners, including EDS, ExxonMobil, Bechtel, National Geographic Society, Sun Microsystems, and Lesley College; federal agencies such as: NASA, NOAA, National Park Service, and the U.S. Department of Education; and educational scientific, and cultural institutions in every state.

For more information on JFE, visit For Star School information, go to

Note: The featured innovation answers the question, "What is it?" not "What works?" The program or innovation is interesting and innovative but does not necessarily have evidence of effectiveness from a rigorous evaluation. The success of the project described may not be replicable, depending on unique conditions in differing locations.


What's New
From the U.S. Department of Education

The Education Department awarded a grant of $1.8 million to the Milken Family Foundation's Teacher Advancement Program. The grant, to be administered by OII, will support a comprehensive, research-based strategy to enhance student performance through developing high quality teachers in Arizona, Arkansas, and South Carolina. The grant will have an impact on 25 schools, nearly 1,000 teachers, and 12,000 students. For more information about this award, see (July 17)

Secretary of Education Rod Paige recently announced a new initiative to send a Teacher Assistance Corps of experts to the States to provide voluntary support as they carry out the teacher quality provisions of No Child Left Behind. For more information about this initiative, see (July 15)

From OII

OII helped sponsor events in Detroit on school choice and supplemental services. Under Secretary Eugene Hickok visited the future site of Keystone Academy Charter School, a charter school authorized by Bay Mills Community College, a tribal college located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He also delivered keynote remarks to parents at an event co-sponsored by the Detroit chapter of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO).(July 15)

The Family Policy Compliance Office in OII has posted a letter from the Department that clarifies the military recruiter provisions of No Child Left Behind. That letter can be read at (July 2)


Innovations in the News

The Teaching American History grant program, administered by the Office of Innovation and Improvement, has benefited teachers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey by helping them relate historical events in their backyards to the classroom. [More-Philadelphia Inquirer] (July 14).

Charter Schools
In the latest effort to remake New York City's school system, city officials opened a new charter school, operated by the Knowledge is Power Program, in the old headquarters of School District 5 on West 123rd Street in Harlem. [More-NY Newsday] (July 14)

Charter schools appear to be making the grade when it comes to giving low-income and special needs students the education they deserve, according to a new study by the Progressive Policy Institute. [More-KXTV-Sacramento] (July 9)

Teacher Certification
The Alternative Route to Licensure (ARL) program is one way to help Utah aggressively recruit mid-career professionals into the classroom. [More-The Salt Lake Tribune] (June 29)


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Last Modified: 04/26/2011