When we think of arts education, what comes to mind for many is our students’ eye-opening engagement with the world through music, visual arts, or filmmaking. But as we celebrate Arts in Education Week (September 13-19), it’s important to remember that those rich artistic experiences couldn’t happen without the time, effort, and planning of our nation’s dedicated arts teachers.
That’s why the U.S. Department of Education recently awarded the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (the Kennedy Center) a $6.5 million grant under its Arts in Education National Program. The Kennedy Center is a national leader in helping schools and teachers offer rich arts education experiences. For more than three decades, the Kennedy Center has partnered with schools in both the D.C. metro area and nationwide to make the arts an integral part of every child’s education. Two of the major programs supported by this grant are Changing Education Through the Arts (CETA) and Ensuring the Arts for Any Given Child (AGC).
Day three of the Ready for Success bus tour began on the leafy campus of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: a school with a tremendous track record of doing creative things to help all students thrive in college, earn a degree, and find fulfilling careers. Illinois is the most diverse public university in the Big Ten, and that diversity embraces students with disabilities.
In fact, the University, through its Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES), is one of the nation’s best in serving the needs of college students with disabilities. So much so, that the graduation rate for students with disabilities, at 91 percent, is higher than the campus average!
As Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s Back to School Bus Tour rolls through the Midwest this week, below we take a look at a neighboring Race to the Top – District grantee that is helping kids prepare for success by giving them real world media experience.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
For most kids, it’s a difficult question to answer—the possibilities are almost endless. But students in the Metropolitan School District of Warren Township, Indiana are getting a head start on exploring at least one career path. That’s because Warren Township runs an innovative program called Frontrunner Media that gives students hands-on, real-world media experience while they are still in high school. Frontrunner is supported in part by the Office of Innovation and Improvement’s Race to the Top – District (RTT–D) program. Below, the program’s managers and director discuss how it works.
(Sep. 3, 2015) The U.S. Department of Education announced today two grant awards totaling $25 million to Twin Cities Public Television and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for the development of television and multimedia programs that will engage preschool and young elementary school children and their families in science and literacy-themed learning.
The awards, made through the Ready-to-Learn Television program, support the creation of television shows, games, websites and apps for young children and families to play and explore, with a particular focus on science and literacy. The grantees—two award-winning public telecommunications entities—will create digital experiences for children that teach the content and skills needed to succeed in elementary school. Today’s awards build upon the successful 2010 Ready-to-Learn competition, which facilitated the launch of the Emmy-award winning show, Peg + Cat.
“Children find inspiration to learn in many parts of their lives, including through exciting multimedia programs like those supported by Ready-to-Learn,” said Nadya Chinoy Dabby, assistant deputy secretary for Innovation and Improvement. “Today’s investments will support innovative organizations as they create programs and platforms that make learning literacy and science a fun and engaging part of young children’s experiences.”
Twin Cities Public Television will create and distribute nationally in English and Spanish a new educational program that will include 40 television episodes and 24 interactive games. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), will develop several new educational programs focused on science and literacy, as well as build upon existing successful programs such as The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That and Curious George. They will also launch a series of interactive tools and materials that motivate hands-on active learning. CPB/PBS member stations will manage 30 community collaboratives that will provide community-based outreach programs and engage such partners as libraries, Head Start, and housing authorities.
Click here for the Department of Education press release that includes the list of grantees, with their states and Year 1 amounts.
10 YEARS LATER: EDUCATION INNOVATION TAKES ROOT IN NEW ORLEANS
[Part 2 of 2 profiles of the U.S. Department of Education’s New Orleans grantees, and the difference they are making for children in the city. To see part 1 of this series please click here.]
She didn’t start her career thinking that she was going to be a principal, but all of that changed ten years ago this month.
In August 2005, Shimon Ancker was teaching in New Orleans East, a part of the city that was hit particularly hard by the Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge. The day before the storm hit, she evacuated to Texas and moved in with her sister, where, at one point, she was among 16 people living in one house. About six months later, she was able to return to the city she called home, although it had been changed forever.
Today, Shimon Ancker is the new principal at the Einstein Charter School extension campus in New Orleans. She is a graduate of the New Leaders program, which in 2009 received a $3.7 million U.S. Department of Education (ED) School Leadership Program grant.
10 YEARS LATER: EDUCATION INNOVATION TAKES ROOT IN NEW ORLEANS
[Part 1 of 2 profiles of the U.S. Department of Education’s New Orleans grantees, and the difference they are making for children in the city.]
In the years since Hurricane Katrina, the people of New Orleans have worked hard to rebuild virtually every aspect of their city. Yet few sectors have undergone as much change as the city’s educational system. Since 2005, the city has rebuilt how it educates its students.
On August 21, 2015, the U.S. Department of Education’s Charter Schools Program (CSP) announced a $4 million non-State Educational Agency (non-SEA) grant competition for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of high-quality start-up charter schools. The grants will also support dissemination of best practices for charter schools that have a proven track record of success and have been in operation for at least three years.
These funds are for charter schools in states that don’t have existing—or do not win new—SEA grants in September 2015. Since the non-SEA competition has opened before new SEA grants have been awarded, non-SEA applicants may, in some cases, submit applications to the non-SEA competition and become ineligible for those grants if their state is awarded an SEA grant.
Despite that possibility, even if your state has applied for an SEA grant in this year’s round, interested charter school operators may still apply. If your state wins an SEA grant—making you ineligible for a non-SEA grant—you can likely repurpose much of your application if you apply for a subgrant from a winning SEA.
We anticipate awarding these non-SEA grants in December 2015. This timeline allows charter school operators that intend to open new schools in the 2016–17 school year to apply for federal start-up funding sufficiently in advance of those school openings—either via an SEA subgrant competition or the non-SEA grant competition. Again, even if your SEA has submitted an SEA grant application this year, interested charter school operators in those states may wish to apply for a non-SEA grant in order to maximize their odds of receiving funding in advance of the 2016–17 school year.
Interested applicants must apply by October 6, 2015 at 4:30 p.m., Eastern Time.
Please visit the Non-SEA Competition page to learn more.
How do we support educators who are discovering innovative new ways to help all students grow and learn? That question is at the core of our Investing in Innovation (i3) grant program. Through i3, we support teachers, school leaders and their partners to identify effective strategies that encourage student success.
This week, the U.S. Department of Education’s Charter Schools Program (CSP) announced a $116 million grant competition focused on starting up new, high-quality charter schools via a State Education Agency (SEA) competition for the first time since 2011. We anticipate awarding these SEA grants in September 2015.
In the coming weeks, we will announce another grant competition to support the start-up of new charter schools via the “non-SEA” competition. These funds are for charter schools in states that don’t have existing—or do not win new—SEA grants. We anticipate awarding these non-SEA grants in fall 2015—after September 2015.
This timeline allows charter school operators that intend to open new schools in the 2016–17 school year to apply for federal start-up funding sufficiently in advance of those school openings—either via the SEA or the non-SEA grant competition. Even if a charter school operator’s SEA plans to submit an SEA grant application this year, interested charter school operators in those states may wish to apply for a non-SEA grant in order to maximize their odds of receiving funding in advance of the 2016–17 school year.
In this video, former middle school teacher and current Senior Program Advisory Brad Jupp discusses why he thinks the Skills for Success grant competition addresses some of the most important challenges that our schools and students face.
In this video, former middle school teacher and current Policy Advisor Kelly Fitzpatrick discusses why she believes the Skills for Success grant competition can have a major impact on the lives of students like the ones she taught in her middle school.