NEWSLETTERS
The Education Innovator #2
Volume II
Archived Information


The Education Innovator
 January 20, 2004 • Number 2
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Feature
Building Excellent Schools
What's New
President Bush's 2005 budget expands education options for parents by including $50 million for a Choice Incentive Fund; Deputy Under Secretary Nina Rees addressed the American Enterprise Institute conference; Registration is open for the Education Industry Investment Forum, sponsored by the Institute for International Research; New Leaders for New Schools, a program of training and ongoing support for outstanding school leaders, is accepting applications for its principal development residencies; Catalyst for Change is a new report on a 4-year study of the Pay for Performance pilot in Denver Public Schools; After the Test: How Schools Are Using Data to Close the Achievement Gap compares schools that have successfully closed the achievement gap in K-8 San Francisco Bay Area Schools; Ball State has issued its first accountability report; and the SEED School had its first college acceptance.
Innovations in the News
Students in Albuquerque Public Schools who are having trouble with their classes can now participate in a free tutoring program; plus information on charter schools, school choice, teacher quality and homeschooling.

Building Excellent Schools Helps to Mold the Charter Idea into Reality
The charter school movement is built on a compelling model: give a great deal of autonomy to a school's founders, hold them accountable for results, and give parents a choice. Making the model work, though, requires exceptional school leaders. That's where Building Excellent Schools (BES) comes in.

BES, originally known as the Massachusetts Charter Schools Resource Center, provides charter schools and their leaders with the knowledge and tools necessary to create and sustain a high-quality education for all children.

BES offers professional development in school design, governance, community support, curriculum, and instruction. The following programs comprise the BES portfolio:

  • Building Excellent Schools Fellowship: This is a year-long, full-time program in which Fellows receive a $50,000 stipend and support to design their schools and prepare their charter applications. The program includes training, mentoring, and ongoing evaluation and consultation.
  • Governance: BES helps charter schools enrich their governance operations through networking opportunities among charter schools and business and community members, and referrals to high-quality consulting services.
  • Brokering: BES can serve as a liaison for charter schools with community, business and education groups.
  • Consulting Services: BES offers one-on-one support to charter schools as they grow and develop.
  • Special Projects: BES periodically takes on special projects to strengthen the charter school movement locally and nationally.
Locally, BES has offered preparatory sessions to all aspiring Massachusetts charter school founders, has worked in some capacity with virtually every charter school in the state, and has provided general information, referral services and in-depth consultation to more than 90% of Massachusetts charter schools. This consultation has been on issues related to board development, accountability, fundraising, curriculum and leadership development. BES Fellows have also won seven out of the last ten charters awarded by the Massachusetts Board of Education in the last two years.

Nationally, BES has served as a model for resource groups in 18 states-including intensive start-up training for 10-on how to develop programs and services to effectively support the development of their local charter schools.

For additional information, please view:

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What's New
Choice Incentive Fund
President Bush's 2005 budget expands education options for parents by including $50 million for a Choice Incentive Fund to ensure America's parents have more choices for their children. (Jan. 9)


Education Industry Investment Forum
Registration is open for the Education Industry Investment Forum, sponsored by the Institute for International Research, March 23-25, in Miami. Deputy Under Secretary Nina Rees will be one of the featured speakers in the "Dialogue with the U.S. Department of Education." (Jan. 14)


New Leaders for New Schools
New Leaders for New Schools New Leaders for New Schools, a program of training and ongoing support for outstanding school leaders, is accepting applications for its principal development residencies in Chicago, New York City, the Bay Area of California, and Washington, D.C. Applications are accepted online. The deadline is April 1, 2004. (Jan. 13)


Denver's 4-year Study of the Pay for Performance Pilot Program
Catalyst for Change is a new report on a 4-year study of the Pay for Performance pilot in Denver Public Schools. It concludes, "The changes required to identify, strengthen, and reward individual student growth and individual teacher contributions under pay for performance have the added effect of stimulating other parts of the school system." (Jan. 12)


Achievement Gap Study
After the Test: How Schools Are Using Data to Close the Achievement Gap compares schools that have successfully closed the achievement gap for low performing students to schools that have not in 32 K-8 San Francisco Bay Area Schools to reveal the characteristics of the successful schools. (Jan. 8)


Ball State's Accountability Report
Ball State has issued its first accountability report on the charter schools the university authorizes. The report gives baseline achievement data, information on student and teacher retention rates, demographic data, and a summary of year-end assessments. (Dec. 2003)


The SEED School in Washington, D.C.
The SEED School (see also "Innovations in the News") had its first college acceptance. Sophia Echavarria was accepted to Princeton University. (Jan. 14)


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Innovations in the News

Supplemental Educational Services
Students in Albuquerque Public Schools who are having trouble with their classes can now participate in a free tutoring program-also known as supplemental educational services-which is part of No Child Left Behind. [More-New Mexico Channel]. (Jan. 7)

Charter Schools
New York state's youngest principal, Benjamin Shuldiner, offers hope to low-income students as principal of Brooklyn's newly chartered High School for Public Service. The 26-year-old used funding from the New Visions for Public Schools initiative to turn his dream of a caring, yet academically rigorous, inner-city school into a reality. [More-Christian Science Monitor]. (Jan. 6)

The SEED school in Washington, D.C., is the nation's only publicly-supported secondary boarding school in an inner-city. The school offers its 310 students a highly-regimented, academically-oriented atmosphere. [More-TIME]. (Jan. 12)

Parents curious about what local control in education might look like might consider Ka Waihona O Ka Na'auao charter school on the Leeward Coast in Hawaii. [More-The Honolulu Advertiser]. (Jan. 12)

School Choice
More than 100,000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg, NC students returned to the classroom after a two-week break, ready for the school choice application process. Students who will be starting middle school and entering high school, as well as those impacted by home school boundary changes, must select a school for the 2004-2005 academic year. [More-News 14 Carolina]. (Jan. 5)

Teacher Quality
McKendree College (IL) Transition to Teaching program is funded by an OII grant and is part of the Associated Colleges of Illinois "Teachers Lead, Leaders Teach" initiative to address the growing teacher shortage in Illinois and to attract professionals outside education to teaching. The intense and highly selective program-including a nine-month paid internship in a high-risk school district-allows for certification in 14 months. [More-Belleville News-Democrat]. (Jan. 8)

A website — RateMyTeachers — allows K-12 students nationwide to rate their teachers and administrators. More than 30,000 elementary, middle, and high schools are listed on the site. [More-The Detroit News] (Jan. 12)

Home-Schooling
More families are now home-schooling their children. About 45,000 children in Florida, are home- schooled, according to the State Department of Education. [More-The Herald Tribune]. (Jan. 12)

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Last Modified: 06/28/2011