Secretary Duncan and Jim Shelton, deputy assistant secretary for innovation and improvement, spoke this morning to district superintendents and non-profit leaders about the importance of innovation in education. The Secretary framed the challenge with recent data showing lagging test scores of American students compared to their international peers. He discussed the historic role of innovation and the need for new ideas to support the Department’s moon shot goal–producing the highest percentage of college graduates by the end of the next decade.
Jim Shelton provided an overview of the $650M “Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund,” as well as a public-private platform to help connect innovators, supporters, and education stakeholders across the country. For the superintendents in the audience, he explained that public and private investments, as well as support for ongoing innovation would help them answer key questions: How do we address our biggest challenges? Who can help us do it? And can they do it in my district?