The Education Innovator #8
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The Education Innovator
 April 21, 2003 • Number 8
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What's New
OII Co-Sponsors Conference on Innovations in Education with Institute for Government Innovation; OII "Innovations in Education Exchange;" and more
Innovations in the News
Ball State University graduates Indiana's first Transition-to-Teaching teachers; plus more news on teacher certification, school choice, virtual schools, and magnet schools

Troops-to-Teachers Program Helps Soldiers While Helping Schools
The Troops-to-Teachers program assists military personnel make the transition from military service to teaching in public elementary and secondary schools.

To be eligible, service men or women must have retired from active or reserve duty. They must have completed six or more years of continuous service and must also be willing to enter the reserves for at least three years. Current reservists can also be eligible by having at least 10 years of service and be willing to commit to the reserves for at least three more years. Program entrants must also hold a baccalaureate or advanced degree, except those seeking to become vocational or technical education teachers. In this case, having one year of college or at least six years of military service in the vocational or technical field would qualify them for the program.

The program offers participants counseling, referral, and placement assistance when moving into new teaching careers. The program also links entrants with teacher preparation programs operating in the states in which they would like to teach. Thirty-three states support offices participate in this program. Participants can qualify for a stipend to help them cover the cost of certification expenses. Recipients of stipends must agree to teach full time in a school that is in high need of teachers.

Troops-to-Teachers has placed over 5,000 new teachers in the classroom. Many of these teachers have filled the teacher shortage in many school districts. The Troops-to-Teachers program is administered through the Office of Innovation and Improvement in conjunction with the Department of Defense. The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support within the Department of Defense handles the day-to-day administration of the program. For more information, go to: and for congressional testimony about the program by Deputy Under Secretary Nina Rees


What's New
OII Co-Sponsors Conference on Innovations in Education with Institute for Government Innovation
OII and the Institute for Government Innovation sponsored a joint conference on "Innovations in Education" at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The purpose of the conference was to explore the role of innovation in this era of scientifically-based research and practice. Participants were education leaders and practitioners who have contributed to education innovation throughout their careers. For more information, go to (April 15)

Secretary of Education Rod Paige addressed the ARCO Forum of Public Affairs
The evening prior to the conference, Secretary of Education Rod Paige addressed the ARCO Forum of Public Affairs, Harvard's premier arena for political discussion and debate. In his speech, the Secretary said that the No Child Left Behind Act is "the most powerful affirmative action program ever devised." The presentation was broadcast over C-Span. To read the full address, go to (April 14)

The Institute for Government Innovation
The Institute for Government Innovation is looking for quality applicants for the Innovations in American Government awards competition. Winners are outstanding examples of creative problem solving in the public sector. Deadlines are May 30 for paper applications and June 6 for online applications. Specific information is available at (April 15)

OII "Innovations in Education Exchange"
OII will host the first session of the Innovations in Education Exchange Series on May 29 at 10:30 p.m. at the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of the series is to explore one promising practice and illustrate lessons that can be learned from the innovation. To register for this event, contact (April 15)

Job Opportunity
OII has a new job opportunity that is open to candidates from outside of government. Two people will be hired as GS12/13 Education Program Specialists in the Teacher and Principal Quality Program (deadline April 24). The salary range is $58,070-$89,774. Those hired for the positions will research and develop program criteria for the selection, funding, and evaluation of grants and contracts. For more information about this posting, see

Funding Opportunities
Competitions are now open for the Public Charter Schools program (deadline date, April 28) and the Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities program (deadline date, June 3). For applications and guidance, go to and


Innovations in the News

Teacher Certification
Ball State University has produced Indiana's first Transition-to-Teaching graduates. The Transition-to-Teaching program, created by a congressional mandate and endorsed by the Indiana Consortium of Education Deans, allows non-teachers with bachelor's degrees to gain their teaching certificates in approximately 18 months. [More-The Star Press] (April 11

A new program at the UConn-Stamford campus, aimed at recruiting teachers into subject areas with staffing shortages, will get a jump start from a scholarship fund set up by Northeast Utilities. The certification program is a full-time, one-year master's degree/certification program that targets both recent college graduates and people considering a career change. [More-The Hour Online] (April 11

The Florida Department of Education has an online teacher certification program that gives teachers a mentor and online assignments, but requires no classroom attendance. [More- The Palm Beach Post] (April 7)

Parental Involvement
With a few keystrokes on the computer, parents in Hall County (GA) are able to retrieve facts about the local school system, the county, and the gap that exists between the graduation rates of white and Hispanic students. [More-WXIA-TV Atlanta] (Dec. 1)

School Choice
A new proposal in Minnesota would allow parents of children with disabilities to be able to use public education funding to pay for private school tuition. The proposal is modeled after a Florida program that has more than 8,600 participants and is considered one of the nation's largest voucher programs. [More-The Pioneer Press] (April 10)

Virtual Schools
The Georgia Senate passed a bill Monday that would establish virtual charter schools -- experimental public schools free from some state regulations in the state. [] (April 7)

Magnet Schools
It is a delicate balance to maintain strong schools across a district. Magnet schools in Raleigh, North Carolina have stabilized dying downtown schools by filling and integrating them with suburban middle-income and upper-income students, who were drawn to programs they could not get in their neighborhood schools. [More-The News Observer] (March 23)

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Last Modified: 04/26/2011