The Time Is Now to Innovate!

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein

It is clear that Arne Duncan and his team at the U.S. Department of Education are looking for new ways to innovate education as we know it.  This is clear as you look over the criteria and expectations set forth in many of the education stimulus funds available.  Toward the end of last year, Lia Woo, provided some great references and starting points on how to locate these funding sources in her blog, “Show Me The Money!”

As a follow-up, and since it ‘tis the season for grant writing, I thought I would point out a few finds of my own that pertain to any public school in Hawaii, especially those serving our rural students and those partnering with It’s All About Kids’ education programs.

U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) – According to the press release on March 8, 2010, the U.S. Secretary of Education states $650 million is allocated for these i3 grants.  Applicants may include school districts or groups of districts as well as non-profit partnerships with these school districts.  Secretary Duncan is asking potential applicants to “address one of the four areas that are driving the Obama administration’s school reform agenda: supporting effective teachers and principals; improving the use of data to accelerate student achievement; complementing the implementation of standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and careers; and turning around persistently low-performing schools.”

W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Rural School and Community Trust – Michele McNeil, an Education Week Reporter, blogs on April 2, 2010 that the “Competition Will Be Fierce for ‘i3’ Grants,” but also notes that the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is here to help.  This Foundation has just allocated $1.4 million to assist with technical assistance, including grant writing, to assist rural school districts to become competitive i3 applicants through their Rural School and Community Trust.Read more

i3 grant applications are due May 11, 2010; and although the U.S. Department of Education asked for a “notice of intent” no later than April 1, 2010.  Michele adds in her blog that this “notice of intent” is “optional.”  The awardees will be announced sometime in September.

After reading the April IAAK Newsletter, I recommend the Showcase School, Makalapa Elementary and IAAK partner with W.K. Kellogg Foundation to complete an i3 grant—an average 19% increase in (2009) H.S.A. test scores after participating and using CompassLearning™ Odyssey® is evidence to me that innovative programs are alive and well in Hawaii.

The Time Is Now to Innovate!  Good luck…