The Education Innovator #29
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The Education Innovator
 September 15, 2003 • Number 29
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  Past issues
What's inside...
The Broad Foundation National State Data Initiative
What's New
President Bush and Secretary Paige unveil plan for education information databank and talk about supplemental educational services in speeches at schools; Nina Rees to appear on Department television program; Innovations in Education Exchange to feature supplemental services; and "toolkit" for teachers recently released by the Department.
Innovations in the News
California Virtual Academy (CVA) is the state's first cyber school for elementary students; plus information on school choice and charter schools.

Website Will Merge Expertise of Public, Private and Nonprofit Sectors To Inform Teachers, Parents and Policymakers
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is a call to action to improve our country's public education system by requiring performance and accountability standards for all states. This new expectation assumes a level of sophistication for data analysis that is not yet present in many states. This gap between NCLB's expectations and states' capacity to comply with them has inspired the creation of the School Information Partnership under the leadership of the Broad Foundation.

The Broad Foundation is working with Standard and Poor's and Just for the Kids (JFTK), to develop an interactive website to assist states and school districts with meeting the report card requirements of NCLB. Unlike other initiatives that only include information on the status of states' compliance with NCLB's assessment and reporting requirements, the Broad Foundation's website will provide data analysis and tools to assist parents, educators, taxpayers and policymakers in monitoring student performance. The initiative will aim to convert compliance data into easy-to-understand, actionable information. Goals of this project include:

  • Explicit phonics instruction, in conjunction with content-rich classical and multi-cultural literature;
  • Math and science taught as discrete subjects;
  • Computers used as learning tools to support instruction and create computer literacy; technology applications, including CD-ROMs and Internet sites, are woven into the curriculum;
  • Hands-on study of "great ideas" in world culture through the integrated Paragon program that includes social science, literature, philosophy, drama, music, art, science, history, math, geography and character development;
  • Foreign language for all students beginning in kindergarten.
In addition to these classroom practices, Mosaica provides structured management that differs from the way most traditional public schools are run. Characteristics of the Mosaica management approach include:
  • To dramatically accelerate and improve states' ability to comply with the federal law;
  • To empower all within the educational system to make better decisions using data;
  • To demonstrate the power of a cross-sector (public, private and nonprofit) collaboration of resources to expand the states' capacity to answer the demands of NCLB.
The data services will be powered by a combination of Standard & Poor's School Evaluation Services and Just for the Kids. The database will be one system, seamlessly linked to the Department of Education's website. Standard & Poor's has a 140-year-old global reputation for independent, objective, comprehensive data analysis in the field of public education. The current School Evaluation Services website provides a national data platform, a consistent reporting framework, and an interactive site featuring sophisticated data analysis, search and sort tools.

Just for the Kids has offered educators and parents an easy-to-understand bar graph of the "opportunity gap" between a school or district's state test scores and the scores of the highest performing schools within the state. JFTK also provides "best practices" in high performing schools that teachers can adapt to improve their instruction.

States will be invited to take advantage of this opportunity with the first ten states having their data analyzed by January 2004. The remaining states will have their data included by summer 2004. When complete, the site will offer: public access that enables parents, educators, taxpayers, and policymakers to identify academic trends at the state, district and school levels; comparisons of state, district, or school data against meaningful benchmarks (NAEP, AYP, similar schools' state averages, etc.); charts and graphs to measure progress, set improvement goals, and compare data with similar entities; identification of consistently high and low performing schools; and the sharing of effective academic practices to improve school performance.

The Broad Foundation will match the funding awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to develop the website and accompanying educational services. The grant will be administered by the Office of Innovation and Improvement in partnership with the Office of Educational Technology in the U.S. Secretary of Education's Office. For more information about the grant, see the President's speech in Jacksonville, FL below. To learn more about the Broad Foundation, go to: To learn more about Just for the Kids, go to: To learn more about Standard & Poor's, go to:


What's New
President George W. Bush and Secretary of Education Rod Paige visited Hyde Park Elementary School in Jacksonville, FL. While there, the President announced the School Information Partnership led by the Broad Foundation (see feature article). To read the full speech, see For a press release on this event, see 2003/09/09092003.html. (Sept. 9)

The President and the Secretary also visited Kirkpatrick Elementary School in Nashville, TN. In addressing the school, the President highlighted the supplemental services provisions of No Child Left Behind. To read the full speech, go to For a press release on the event, see 2003/09/09082003.html. (Sept. 8)

Deputy Under Secretary Nina Rees will be a panelist on the Department of Education's Education News Parents Can Use television program on September 16th. The program will air from 8-9 PM, Eastern Standard Time. The topic of the program is "Helping Your Child Succeed in School." to view the broadcast live, please register at

The next Innovations in Education Exchange will focus on supplemental education services. Secretary Rod Paige will offer a keynote, followed by presentations from representatives of Sylvan Education Solutions, American Institutes for Research, and the Colorado Department of Education. The Exchange will be on Thursday, September 25th from 2-3:30 PM in room HC-5 of the U.S. Capitol. Please register at as soon as possible since seating is limited and advanced registration is required for security. (Sept. 8)

The U.S. Department of Education recently released a "toolkit" for teachers to explain the highly qualified teacher provisions of No Child Left Behind.. To read the booklet, go to nclbguide/nclb-teachers-toolkit.pdf. (Aug. 2003)


Innovations in the News
Virtual Schools
California Virtual Academy (CVA), founded in partnership with K12, is the state's first cyber school for elementary students. CVA begins its second year with three charters that take students from Tuolumne, Kern and San Diego counties and the surrounding areas. [More-The San Francisco Chronicle] (Aug 31)

Students in Illinois who are looking for flexibility and a full menu of courses are increasingly turning to the state's virtual high school. [More-ABC7 Chicago] (Sept 3)

Florida's newest schools have no lunch lines, no libraries and no worries about a trip to the principal's office, which does not exist. [More-The Miami Herald] (Aug 31)

School Choice
A school lottery in Louisiana has many students on the move. Hundreds of Caddo Parish middle and high school students will officially transfer to their "schools of choice." [] (Sept 2)

Charter Schools
As a result of the revised charter school law in New Hampshire, The Seacoast Charter School in Exeter will open with a focus on art and individuality. [More-The Exeter News-Letter (Sept 5)

More Oregon charters will open this fall than in any other year, with 17 new schools offering everything from Japanese language in Sheridan to technology in Gold Beach. [More-The Oregonian] (Sept 2)


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Last Modified: 04/26/2011