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What is Innovation?
The Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII) supports educators across the country to develop, learn from, and scale new and effective approaches to serving our nation’s highest-need students. These teachers, school leaders, and their partners in school districts and nonprofit organizations are at the forefront of building the tools and strategies that enable all our students to succeed.
Through partnerships with schools, school districts, nonprofit organizations and states, OII drives education innovation by both seeding new strategies, and bringing proven approaches to scale.
Our mission is to accelerate the pace at which the U.S. identifies, develops, and scales solutions to education’s most important or persistent challenges. OII makes strategic investments in innovative educational programs and practices, and administers 25 discretionary grant programs managed by four program offices: Charter Schools Program, Parental Options and Improvement, Teacher Quality Programs, and Education Innovation Programs.
Charter Schools Programs
OII’s Charter Schools Program (CSP) provides funds to create promising new public charter schools, to replicate high-quality public charter schools, and to disseminate information about effective practices within charter schools. Federal funds are also available to help charter schools find suitable facilities; reward high-quality charter schools that form exemplary collaborations with traditional public schools; and invest in other national initiatives that support charter schools.
Office of Education Innovation Programs
The Office of Education Innovation Programs supports nontraditional programs that improve student achievement or student growth, close achievement gaps, decrease dropout rates, increase high school graduation rates, or increase college enrollment and completion rates (i3); supports the development of educational television and digital media programs targeted at preschool and early elementary school children and their families to promote early learning and school readiness, and more.
Office of Non-Public Education
The Office of Non-Public Education (ONPE) fosters maximum participation of non-public school students and teachers in federal education programs and initiatives. Since the initial passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 1965, private school students and teachers have been eligible to participate in certain federal education programs.
Parental Options and Improvement
The Office of Parental Options and Improvement (POI) oversees activities that support arts education and alternatives in education including full-service community schools, magnet schools, and public school choice. It also supports community organizations that work with schools and the community to meaningfully engage parents in their children’s education.
Teacher Quality Programs
OII’s Teacher Quality Programs (TQP) office works to implement Department initiatives that support and test innovations to improve teacher and principal quality. TQP funds support the preparation, support, and retention of effective teachers and school leaders through a range of efforts, including partnerships between districts, institutions of higher education, and nonprofits.
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