The Education Innovator #17
Volume II
Archived Information

The Education Innovator
 May 10, 2004 • Number 17
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What's inside...
Gideon's Gate Supplemental Educational Services Provider
What's New
Secretary Paige kicks off National Charter Schools Week with an interactive webcast; Secretary Paige announces that the U.S. Department of Education will hold a "Research-to-Practice Summit;" Deputy Under Secretary Rees discusses charter schools in an interactive "Ask the White House" online forum; U.S. House of Representatives passes H.R. 600 supporting National Charter Schools Week, and the U.S. Senate unanimously passes S.R. 351, both supporting National Charter Schools Week; the next Innovations in Education Exchange on choice and supplemental educational services will be May 27; a new website with resources about supplemental educational services,, is now live; the website adds three new states; the next Education News Parents Can Use telecast will be on teaching American history, May 18; "alternative pathways to college" are being offered more and more; and the Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE) website offers information on Brown vs. Board of Education.
Innovations in the News
Flagler County's (FL) two new charter schools will move into the area's former hospital building; plus information on magnet schools and school choice.

Gideon's Gate Opens Supplemental Educational Services for Indiana Students
On a weekday afternoon, a small group of middle school students in Indianapolis works quietly on math problems while, nearby, elementary school students study reading and language arts. Although the lessons are based on Indiana's academic standards and assessments, the students are not in their regular school classrooms. Instead, they are participating in free, after-school sessions of tutoring and academic support from Gideon's Gate, a faith-based organization that is an approved supplemental educational services provider in Indiana. Gideon's Gate, like other supplemental services providers throughout the country, gives free academic support to low-income children in Title I schools identified by the state as in need of improvement for at least two years under No Child Left Behind. Gideon's Gate and other providers offer these services after the school day is over so that students can improve their academic knowledge and skills in core subject areas, just as their school is undergoing improvements.

Gideon's Gate received approval from Indiana in the fall of 2003 to become a supplemental services provider and has been serving primarily Indianapolis students for the past seven months. The nonprofit organization is affiliated with other community and faith-based organizations in the area to coordinate a holistic approach to educating children. For example, while staff of Gideon's Gate organize and operate the supplemental services program, they contract with local churches for a facility and transportation. The churches pick students up at their schools, take them to the church sites for supplemental services lessons, and then drive the students home.

After only seven months of working with the students, Gideon's Gate reports that all have demonstrated an increase of at least six percent in reading and language arts skills by using individual word prompts, and about 80 percent have increased their vocabulary through the use of vocabulary boards. The total average increase in math has been at least 5.5 percent. When entering the program, most middle school students were performing at around the 4th grade level. At the end of the program, most were at the 5th grade level. To determine these increases, students were given diagnostic exams at the beginning of the program with follow-up exams after the program started.

Gideon's Gate also prides itself on the variety of academic and social services that it offers to needy children. For example, while students may spend one to two hours an afternoon with Gideon's Gate receiving academic support in reading and math, afterwards they can participate in a variety of youth programs, including performing arts, trips to the local library, use of the Boys and Girls Clubs' recreation facilities, computer training, and other activities. Gideon's Gate provides these students with meals on site, as well as food to take home. According to Director Carol Merriweather, many of these children are so grateful for the food they receive that it is all the incentive they need to continue attending their supplemental services sessions. Gideon's Gate also provides students with counseling and psychological services, as needed, as well as training and assistance to parents.

Gideon's Gate is serving over 100 students in four schools in Indianapolis, and has plans to expand on a variety of fronts. Next school year, it plans to operate as a supplemental services provider in Gary and is also considering expanding to the cities of Ft. Wayne, Evansville, and South Bend. Additionally, Gideon's Gate is enlarging its pool of tutors. The organization is partnering with Martin University in Indianapolis to enable Martin's pre-service education students to tutor under the supplemental services program. Finally, Gideon's Gate is extending its parent outreach by providing training and other services to parents to help them play a supportive role in their children's education. This training will help parents better understand standards and assessments, as well as how to help their children improve academically.

Resources: Note:The featured innovation is a description of a state-approved supplemental services provider and is given as an example to help schools and families implement the supplemental educational services provisions of No Child Left Behind. The U.S. Department of Education has not evaluated the specific services of Gideon's Gate, and the information provided should not be regarded as an endorsement.


What's New
National Charter Schools Week Webcast
U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige kicked off National Charter Schools Week with an interactive webcast from the School for Arts in Learning Public Charter School in Washington, DC. (May 3)

National Summit Goal: Taking What Works into the Classroom
Secretary Paige announced, during Teacher Appreciation Week, that the U.S. Department of Education will hold a "Research-to-Practice Summit" on July 20 in Washington, DC. The summit will highlight research that has been shown to improve student learning. (May 4)

Ask the White House
Deputy Under Secretary Nina S. Rees discussed charter schools and the No Child Left Behind Act in an interactive "Ask the White House" online forum on May 4. Ms. Rees responded to email questions from Marina, California to Buffalo, New York. (May 4)

U.S. House of Representatives
On Tuesday, May 4, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 600, a resolution supporting National Charter Schools Week, by a vote of 396-0. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed S.R. 351, a similar resolution. (May 4)

OII Innovations in Education Exchange Series
The next Innovations in Education Exchange will be May 27, from 2:00-3:30 p.m., in the U.S. Department of Education Auditorium at 400 Maryland Avenue, SW. The topic will be "Public School Choice and Supplemental Educational Services" and will feature case studies from OII's forthcoming Innovations in Education book series. To reserve a place at the Exchange, please email (May 5)

Supplemental Educational Services
A new website with resources about supplemental educational services,, is now live. The site has information for families, educators, policymakers, and providers. Parents can click on the map and find out what providers are serving their child's school, for example. (May7)

The website has added three new states--Arizona, Arkansas, and North Carolina--to its database of information about schools. (May 1)

Education News Parents Can Use
The next Education News Parents Can Use telecast will be on teaching American history, humanities, and civics, May 18, from 8:00-9:00 p.m. ET. Associate Deputy Under Secretary Michael Petrilli will be one of the panelists. (May 4)

Alternative Pathways to College
"Alternative pathways to college" are being offered more and more. Alternatives may be schools that focus on Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs; schools that allow students to take community college courses; community-based organization-run schools to help dropouts master 300 core skills to graduate; or early college high schools. (Spring 2004)

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE) Website
Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE) website offers information on Brown vs. Board of Education. The site has interesting facts and links to deeper readings on the history around the case. (May 7)


Innovations in the News

Charter Schools
Flagler County's (FL) two new charter schools will move into the area's former hospital building. A private company has provided money to purchase the building, and the two new academies will lease space at the site. [More-Daytona Beach News-Journal] (May 5)

Utah charter schools serve 3,300 students and, with new state legislation, the numbers are likely to grow. Under the new legislation, the governor will appoint a seven-member State Charter School Board as a liaison to the state's school board. [More-Deseret News] (May 3)

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, Rep. Doug Smith (R-Spartanburg), and others marked Public Charter School Day urging lawmakers to support legislation setting up a statewide charter school district. [More-The State] (May 6)

Greenville Tech Charter High School in Greenville (SC) turned David Ross' life around. Before coming to Tech, he had drug and discipline problems. This year he is senior class secretary and captain of the football team with a GPA of 4.43. [More-Greenville News] (April 27)

Magnet Schools
Charlotte-Mecklenburg's (NC) magnet program, Leadership for Global Economics, serves 1,300 students in six schools. The goal is for U.S. students to discuss current events with students from other countries via technology and using newspapers. [More-Charlotte Observer] (May 3) (Free Registration)

School Choice
In part to comply with No Child Left Behind, Chicago Public Schools will expand programs in underperforming schools to keep and serve their best students; expand free tutoring to try to accommodate the up to 270,000 students who will be eligible for it; and expand the Virtual High School Initiative, making about 500 new slots available for fifth-year high school seniors. [More-Sun Times] (April 23)

Colorado lawmakers have approved a voucher plan for college students. The program will begin in fall 2005 and will be worth $2,400 at public schools and $1,200 at three private schools in the state. [More-Christian Science Monitor] (May 3)

Opposition to vouchers in Louisiana seems to be wavering. When legislators focus on individual children, philosophical differences tend to dissipate. [More-Times-Picayune] (May 4)

Private schools on the Monterey Peninsula of California have seen a spike in parent interest. [More-Monterey Herald] (April 19)


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Last Modified: 06/30/2011