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National Charter Schools Week Proclaimed by President Obama

Charter schools play an important role in America meeting its obligation to “equip all our students with the education and skills that put them on the path to a bright future,” according to President Barack Obama, in proclaiming May 5 through 11 as National Charter Schools Week, 2013. 

America’s approximately 6,000 charter schools are “learning laboratories [that] give educators the chance to try new models and methods that can encourage excellence in the classroom and prepare more of our children for college and careers,” according to President Obama.

22 Charter, Magnet, and Private Schools Among 2013 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Awardees

The second-annual U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees were announced on April 22nd by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.  Mundo Verde is one of the 64 schools being recognized for their exemplary efforts to create healthier learning spaces and educate students on the importance of environmental protection. The secretary was joined by the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley and Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Bob Persiacepe.

i3-Funded Curriculum Transformation Documented and Shared

Today, Edutopia.org released a new video featuring one of OII’s i3 grantees — Bellevue School District’s Sammamish High School in Washington state. The video documents the transformation from the school’s use of traditional curriculum to problem-based learning. The district was awarded an i3 Development grant in 2010 for the development and implementation of a scalable, sustainable, 21st-century, skills-based program. This type of learning allows teachers to facilitate conversations and provide more effective classroom instruction; it also allows students to take more ownership in the learning process — how they connect to and learn the material, and how they put new knowledge into practice.

Leading in a Diverse Workplace: ED Staff Learn How From Award-Winning Teachers

"In an increasingly diverse world, it is important for teachers to have the skills to reach every student in the classroom and close the achievement gap," said the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello, at the Department of Education to help lead a conversation about diversity. The Department invited Costello, along with the 2012 Teaching Tolerance Excellence in Culturally Responsive Teaching Awardees, who were in D.C. to receive their awards. They engaged employees in an extended conversation on diversity, helping employees to understand their effective classroom practices and to translate their experiences and insights into lessons about leading, whether in classrooms, schools, or federal agencies.

All 2012 Investing in Innovation Top Applicants Secure Private Donors’ Support

(December 18, 2012) Today the U.S. Department of Education announced all 20 of the highest-rated applicants in the 2012 Investing in Innovation (i3) competition have secured their required private-sector matching funds and have become official i3 grantees. Together, they will share more than $140 million in federal funds to expand innovative practices designed to accelerate achievement and help prepare every student to succeed in college and in their careers.

“We know private partners play a huge role in driving local education reform efforts when they can invest in promising ideas, and these grantees have proposed a variety of innovative approaches to close achievement gaps and ultimately prepare every student for lifelong success,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Partnerships like these are vital to supporting teachers and students as they tackle some of the toughest issues in education.”

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