An insightful Rick Hess blog on the potential for federal government funding of true innovation in education: ARPA-ED: A Qualified Thumbs-Up – Rick Hess Straight Up – Education Week.
As usual Rick reports out the risks not just the promise. Working at a digital content innovator turned down twice by i3 reviewers (U.S. Education Department’s “Investing In Innovation” competitive grants program), it is clearly evident to me that the incumbent education establishment is not open to “breakthrough capabilities” or even “fresh thinking and ideas”. It is as if those reviewing a potential breakthrough aviation project, like stealth technology, already have strong beliefs on what will or won’t work, if not their own competitive stealth projects underway. Selection of ARPA-ED projects to be funded: applicant eligibility, who evaluates project proposals, on what basis, and under what oversight, will be a make-or-break. Just allowing the path-of-least-resistance and least-political-risk of incumbent status-quo thinking will *not* generate education game-changers.