National Journal rehashes i3 grants after a couple folks (including me) suggested the program will produce improvement but not innovation. Here’s my take:
The i3 program funded credible scaling efforts that will make incremental improvements to traditional schools—solid investments but not innovation. Optimizing the current system will not reach all students; it won’t close the achievement, teacher, or funding gap; and will cost more money.
Innovation is more likely to come from outside the system—from gaming, social networking, informal learning, tutoring, or military training—than through grants to school districts. We’re more likely to spot the potential for innovation watching developments with iPad than i3; watching TechCrunch more than Ed.gov; watching NEA.com more than NEA.org.
Other than Ed.gov, every other public delivery services of the federal government actively partners with the private sector. The learning tools our kids deserve will largely be developed by the private sector. More public-private partnerships would accelerate our progress toward regaining world education leadership.
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