The Education Innovator #5
Volume II
Archived Information

The Education Innovator
 February 9, 2004 • Number 5
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  Past issues
What's inside...
California Outreach to Private Schools
What's New
Grant competition to select a group to manage the D.C. School Choice Incentive Program announced; Secretary Paige discusses 2005 budget proposal for education; OII releases Benefits to Private School Students and Teachers; and three charter schools are semi-finalists for "Innovations in American Government Awards."
Innovations in the News
The website,, provides history resources to Pennsylvania teachers; plus information on technology, charter schools, and virtual schools.

California Department of Education Collaborates with Private School Community
In some corners, it's not widely known that federal funds can provide services to students and teachers in private schools. Eligible private school children and their teachers, for example, may participate in programs under the Reading First Program, just as public school children and teachers may.

Unfortunately, many private school officials are unaware of their benefits under the law. That's why the California Department of Education has undertaken an ongoing outreach program. In August 2003, State Superintendent Jack O'Connell sent a letter to key leaders in public and private schools that explained the equitable participation requirements of NCLB and urged meaningful consultation.

As part of this consultation, the state department, as represented by its Private School Advisory Committee, teamed up with the California Association of Private School Organizations (CAPSO), a consortium of pre-collegiate, independent, and religious school organizations. The goal of this collaboration was to educate the private school community on both the opportunities available to them, as well as on the obligations of the local school districts in implementing these programs.

The California Private School Advisory Committee, with the California Department of Education and CAPSO as co-sponsors, coordinated a series of workshops to bring together education officials from the public and private sectors. The three workshops, held in January 2004 for approximately 300 California private school officials, State Department of Education officials, and local school district personnel working on federal programs, aimed to make sure that all groups involved with implementing NCLB programs for private school students and teachers hear the same message. The workshops also helped to better inform these groups of the law, regulations, and guidance, so that federal programs could be implemented for students and teachers in private schools to the fullest extent.

Regarding the usefulness of a three-hour workshop, one public school district attendee commented:

"Not only were our private schools thrilled with the options we discussed, and grateful for the organized materials, but we discovered many ways we could be working together that had no additional cost ... [the workshop] gave us confidence in understanding our obligations, the responsibilities of our private school partners, and the benefits to all students."

In addition to the workshops, the California Department of Education has posted online documents, including guidance for private school participation in NCLB, provisions for equitable participation of private school students, data from private school affidavits, and other resources.

OII's Office of Non-Public Education (ONPE) conducted workshops in January as part of the California State Department of Education's outreach effort. ONPE represents the interests, activities, and needs of the private elementary and secondary school community at the U.S. Department of Education and consults with the private school community on the participation of students and teachers in the Department's programs and initiatives. The office has also published a guide, Benefits to Private School Students (see "What's New").

For more information, please view:


What's New
D.C. School Choice Incentive Program
The grant competition to select a group to manage the D.C. School Choice Incentive Program was announced on Feb. 4 and closes March 5. The competition is open to (a) an educational entity of the District of Columbia Government, (b) a nonprofit organization, or (c) a consortium of nonprofit organizations. This competition marks the first time that economically disadvantaged parents in DC will have the opportunity to send their child to a private school through opportunity scholarships, according to Secretary of Education Rod Paige and Mayor Anthony Williams. (Feb. 4)

President Bush's Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Proposal for Education Programs
Secretary Rod Paige discusses President Bush's fiscal year 2005 budget proposal for education programs on a video webcast that can be viewed on the Department's website. (Feb. 2)

Benefits to Private School Students and Teachers Booklet
OII has released Benefits to Private School Students and Teachers, a booklet prepared by the Office of Non-Public Education on services to students and teachers who attend or work in private schools. The booklet is available free from ED Pubs. (Jan. 20)

Innovations in American Government Awards
Three charter schools are among 50 semi-finalists for the "Innovations in American Government Awards," sponsored by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. The three schools are Life Learning Academy (CA), SEED Foundation (DC), and America Youth Works Charter School (TX). (Jan. 30)


Innovations in the News

Teaching American History
The website,, adds depth to the stories behind the 1,900 historical markers around Pennsylvania. One of the purposes of the site is to provide standards-based resources to Pennsylvania elementary, middle, and high school teachers. The project received an OII Teaching American History grant. [More-Philadelphia Inquirer] (Jan. 22)

Federal, state, and private education leaders launched a website that promises access to information about public school performance. The site,, will serve as a clearinghouse for state report cards on education, including data broken down to the school district and school building levels. The project is supported in part by a grant from OII. [More-NBC] (Jan. 29)

OII-funded Between the Lions public television program will launch an American Indian Literacy Initiative in New Mexico. The initiative aims to increase the literacy of American Indian children in Head Start programs. [More-Marketwire] (Jan. 30)

Charter Schools
"The effectiveness of charter schools has been clearly established," said Dr. Richard C. Atkinson, President Emeritus of the University of California System, upon his appointment to the California Charter Schools Association Board of Directors. [More-Business Wire] (Feb. 4)

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has appointed Johnathan Williams, co-founder of the Accelerated School, to the California State Board of Education. He is the first charter school director ever appointed to the Board. [More-Sacramento Bee] (Jan. 30)

New York State has approved New York City's first girls-only charter school. The Girls Preparatory Charter School on the Lower East Side will serve 80 students in kindergarten and first grade beginning next fall. [More-The New York Post] (Jan. 28)

Parents seeking alternative education opportunities for their children can enroll them at New Jerusalem or Delta High charter schools in California. Both facilities offer a program featuring a hybrid of classroom and home-based studies for students in grades K through 12. [More-The Tri-Valley Herald] (Jan. 24)

The KIPP Tech Valley Charter School was approved Tuesday by the State University of New York Board of Trustees. The new Albany public middle school will offer full-day classes until 5 p.m., a longer school year, homework every night, challenging math and English classes, and a student dress code. [More-The Albany Business Journal] (Jan. 28)

District of Columbia administrators have negotiated with the Maya Angelou Public Charter School to open a new campus in a DC school building and provide an educational program for troubled students. [More-Washington Post] (Jan. 25)

Virtual Schools
Virtual schools are gaining popularity in Wisconsin. Each day, 11-year-old Roberto Fernandez and his brother and sister wake up, and then head to the dining room of their home for the first lesson of the day. [More-USA Today] (Jan. 30)

The curriculum at Stonington High School (RI) may soon know no boundaries. The town of Westerly's Board of Education has approved a resolution allowing classes in "Virtual High School" to commence. [More- The complete article is available from the Westerly Sun online archives for a fee.] (Jan. 30)


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Last Modified: 06/28/2011