The Education Innovator
"" U.S. Department of Education

 Office of Innovation and Improvement
Nina S. Rees, Deputy Under Secretary

February 23, 2004

Volume II, No. 7



What's New

Innovations in the News


What's New

President George W. Bush recently celebrated the passage of the DC Choice Incentive Program at Washingtons Archbishop Carroll High School. He discussed his support for additional funding in the fiscal year 2004 omnibus appropriations act for public schools, charter schools, and opportunity scholarships for at least 1,700 of the Districts poor children to go to private schools. (Feb. 13)

Charter schools and other school options were the subject of the February edition of the U.S. Department of Educations monthly TV show, Education News Parents Can Use.
Deputy Under Secretary Nina Rees was one of the featured speakers on the show. (Feb. 17)

An OII grantee, the
National Center for Alternative Certification, has launched its website, which will serve as a one-stop, comprehensive, national clearinghouse of information about alternative routes to certification. The site includes a video of the proceedings of its first annual, national conference where OIIs
Associate Deputy Under Secretary Michael Petrilli was the keynote speaker. (Feb. 17)

A study on charter school accountability, "High-Stakes: Public Impacts National Study of Charter School Accountability , was discussed last week at the
Brookings Institution. The study indicates that authorizers are watching the performance of charter schools closely and are willing to shut down those that are under-performing. (Feb. 18)

The new School Choice Alliance will be led by Clint Bolick, currently Vice President and Co-Founder of the Institute for Justice. This new organization will stimulate grassroots support for new school choice programs across the nation. Bolick has written widely on
school choice issues. (Feb. 18)

For Presidents Day,
U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige encouraged teachers to use the national holiday to spark discussion of our presidents and their role in historywith the help of a department website: History, government, and civics are core academic subjects under No Child Left Behind. (Feb. 18)

ABC-CLIO, a publisher of educational and reference products, has announced the
2004-2005 Schools History Fellowship Program. The program provides opportunities for outstanding secondary social studies teachers to participate in advanced study and editorial and professional development activities. Applications are due March 22. (Feb. 12)

Mapping a Course for Improved Student Learning: How Innovative Schools Systematically Use Student Performance Data to Guide Improvement , shows that data can provide a solid foundation upon which to base courses of action and evaluate success of past decisions. The study is a result of site visits, interviews, and a random sample survey of schools using the Americas Choice comprehensive school reform design committed to standards-based education. (November 2003)


Next Exchange

Innovations in Education Exchange : School Choice, Doing It Right , February 25 .

Grant Application Deadlines

Teaching American History, March 2

(revised technical assistance
webcast now available )

DC School Choice Incentive, March 5

Magnet Schools Assistance, March 15


The purpose of this e-letter is to promote promising and innovative practices in education. This is one of the goals of the Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII). The office looks at new ways school districts and states implement education reforms in order to improve student achievement. The information contained herein is available on the OII website. We invite you to visit the site at
offices/list/oii/index.html for more information about our programs and services, parental options, and family rights. The website contains links to other websites and news articles. We believe these links provide relevant information as part of the continuing discussion of education improvement. The opinions expressed in any articles or web pages do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the Office of Innovation and Improvement or the U.S. Department of Education. The inclusion of resources should not be construed or interpreted as an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of any private organization or business listed herein.


Thomas M. Corwin
Associate Deputy Under Secretary

Michael J. Petrilli
Associate Deputy Under Secretary

Cynthia Hearn Dorfman
Director of Communications

Ryan Cole

Stacy Kotzin
Contributing Editor

Cynthia Cabell
Graphic Editor



The Haberman Educational Foundation Helps School Districts Hire Quality Teachers and Principals for High-Need Students

For years, business and government have used personality and other tests to understand leadership and work styles of managers and employees. High school career centers offer preference assessments to help guide students on postsecondary education and career paths. Why not apply this approach as one indicator when hiring teachers?

The research of University of Wisconsin education professor Martin Haberman is the basis for the hiring and training tools and services available from the nonprofit Haberman Educational Foundation. Its best known tool is the Haberman Star Teacher Selection Interview, which helps districts identify quality teachers who are likely to succeed in tough, urban environments. The tool evaluates teachers to determine whether they:

  • are persistent and problem solvers;
  • are protective of learners and learning;
  • translate theory and research into practice;
  • use successful approaches for at-risk students;
  • respond professionally to students needs;
  • understand and anticipate burnout; and
  • are willing to admit mistakes.

These qualities were identified by Professor Haberman over a 40-year period of research in the area of teacher and principal selection.

The foundation has conducted training in the use of the Star Teacher Selection Interview in over 170 districts and cities across the country, including Chicago, Milwaukee, Long Beach (CA), Pomona, Hillsborough County (FL), Adams 12 Five Star Schools (CO), Philadelphia, and Dallas.

The Haberman Foundation also features the Star Classroom Management Protocol, which is an online assessment that educators can use to identify their own classroom management skills. This tool is designed to help school districts determine if an individual will be able to properly manage a classroom. An online pre-screener test for teachers is also available.

To support school leadership, the foundation has produced the Star Principal Selection Interview, which is designed to help districts select quality principals. In addition, the foundation offers the Star Urban Administrator Questionnaire, an online pre-screener tool for principals. Finally, principals and teachers can be connected as a result of the Haberman Principals Academy that helps principals recruit high-quality teachers through research-based technologies.

Studies have shown that the retention rate for teachers who have been hired using the Haberman Star Teacher Selection Interview is about 95%-98%. Milwaukee schools, for example, showed a 95% retention rate eight years after the 137 Haberman-interviewed teachers were hired. At Spring Branch Independent School District in Houston, achievement levels of students taught by teachers hired from the Haberman interview became among the highest in the district, and the use of the Haberman instrument is now regarded as a reform strategy there.

The Dallas Independent School District, in a joint effort with Madison Government Affairs and the Haberman Educational Foundation, recently received an OII grant to create the Teacher/Principal Retention Pilot Project. The goal of the project is to increase student achievement through extensive teacher and principal selection by using the Haberman Foundations selection and management tools.

Fo r additional information, please view Haberman Educational Foundation .

Note: The featured innovation is a description of one example of a foundation that supports alternative certification and nontraditional approaches to teacher and administrator recruitment, hiring, and retention. The information provided should not be regarded as an endorsement.

OII supports several programs to encourage alternative teacher certification and quality school leadership.

These include:

Innovations in the News

Teacher Quality

OII-funded Western Governors University reports that its internet-based teachers college enrollment has reached 1,300, just one year after its creation. Of these, 950 are working toward their initial state certification in elementary or secondary education. [More-
ED Week] (Free Registration) (Feb. 18)

School Choice

President Bush, celebrating the nation's first federally funded school voucher program in the District of Columbia, said he hopes it will promote change in education across the country. [More-
Washington Post] (Feb. 13)

After just one week, the director of the Sarasota County (FL) school choice program has several hundred applications from parents who want their children to switch schools. [More-
Herald Tribune] (Feb. 15)

Advanced Placement

Houston Independent School District's Superintendent announced a new program that will place sixth-graders in pre-AP English classes designed to make students aware of more rigorous classes the district offers. [More-
Houston Chronicle ] (Feb. 18)

Charter Schools

The University of North Florida will help existing and prospective charter schools with management and start-up challenges. The Florida Center for Independent School Management at the university will operate from the premise that charter schools are much like small businesses. [More-
Jacksonville Business Journal ] (Feb. 10)

Wisconsin Connections Academy, a virtual school chartered for kindergarten through eighth grade by the Appleton School District, has been in existence for two years, and is an alternative for some to home schooling and an option for children who are ill. [More-
Shawano Leader ] (Feb. 15)

Supplemental Educational Services

Advanced Academics has been selected by the California Department of Education as a supplemental educational services provider. It was the only online learning company among nine providers approved during the recent review period. [More-
Business Wire ] (Feb.5)


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