September 1, 2005
Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School

This survey outlines recent innovations in education at the state level across the U.S. It is organized by state. Below we have provided a list of the survey's contents by topic.

Improving Early Childhood Education
  • Early childhood & elementary school literacy initiatives: AL, CO, DE, FL, KY, NV, OH, SD, TN, WA, WI
  • Integrating existing early childhood programs: GA, MI, TX
  • Expanding voluntary pre-K programs: FL, HI, KY, LA, NM TN, WI
  • Expanding all-day kindergarten programs: AZ, CO, HI, KS, NM, OK, AZ, KS
  • Assistance for parents on preparing children for school: KS, MO, VA
  • Certification, rating, and curriculum for early childhood educators: IA, PN, TX, VA, WI
  • Governor's commissions/ summits on early childhood education: IA, MD, MS, WA, WI

Recruiting and Retaining Quality Teachers in the Classroom

  • Mentoring for new teachers: AK, AZ, DE, GA, KS, MA, MS, VA
  • Teacher pay, bonuses based on student achievement: ID, KY, MN, MS, NV
  • Modifying teacher tenure requirements: CA
  • Less red tape for teacher certification: IL, NC
  • Recognizing out-of-state teacher certification: MS
  • Teacher certification changes to focus on teaching: AK
  • Recruiting, mentoring teachers for high need schools: DE, MN, NY, VA
  • More career advancement opportunities for teachers: AZ, GA, MN, TX
  • Statewide teacher working conditions survey: AZ, NC
  • State sponsored teacher health insurance: KS, OR
  • Governor's commissions/ summits on recruiting and retaining teachers: AZ, ID, MD, MS, PN, WI
Redesigning High School Curriculum for a Knowledge-Based Economy
  • Expanding access to advanced placement classes: AR, CO, ID, MN, MS, OH, TX
  • Replacing high school assessment tests with college admission exams: CO, MI
  • Curriculum changes, with focus on science and engineering: AL, ID, IN, MA, MN, NC, OH, OK
  • Curriculum changes to move toward college-prepatory track: AR, DE, KY, LA, PN, MI, MN, TX
  • Student assessments to identify interests and/or college readiness: FL, CA, MN, TX, VA
  • Tuition scholarships for at least first years of college: DE, GA, MA, ME, MI, MO, MT, NV, NJ, RI, SD
  • Guaranteed college admission for top students in the state: FL
  • Governor's Cup award for schools with best improvement in test scores: GA
  • Grace period for high school graduates not ready for college: NM
  • Longer school days with provision for study hall, athletics and tutoring: MA
  • Less red tape for high school students getting college credit: FL
  • Free tuition for children whose parents killed on active service: NH
  • Governor's commissions/ summits on redesigning high school curriculum: PN
Other Curriculum Changes
  • Inclusion of holocaust/ genocide education, including recent atrocities: IL, NJ
  • Pilot wildlife education curriculum: CO
  • Governor's commissions/ summits on science and math, statewide initiatives: TX, RI

Other Banishing Bureaucracy Measures

  • "Liberating" best performing schools from some bureaucratic requirements: MS
  • Regional agreements between multiple school districts: ME, OR
  • Increase efficiency of school transportation: ME
  • Governor's innovations grants for school programs: ID
Distance Learning/ Integrating Technology into the Classroom
  • Promoting the benefits of distance education: IN
  • Distance learning to provide class instruction to students across the state: AL, GA, TX, WA, VA
  • Pilot programs to familiarize students with computers technology: LA
  • Using technology to ensure more accurate student performance data: IA, KY, OR
  • On-line tools for educators and students: FL, KY, MS, OR
  • State survey to collect data on school technology successes, challenges: WV

Parental Involvement and Notification

  • Mandatory parental preparation courses in failing school districts: MA
  • School performance reports for parents: CO, KS, NY, VA
  • College savings plan through a public trust: NE
  • Refining definition of "drop outs" for more accurate graduation data: IN

Aligning Elementary, Secondary and Post-Secondary Education

  • Align curriculum from pre-K to college: KS, KY, ME, OH
  • State youth surveys to better identify student needs: IA, LA, NE
  • Governor's commissions/ summits on Pre-K-16 education: AZ, IN, OH, ME, NC, NV, SD, TX, UT, RI, WA
Charter Schools
  • Lifting state caps on the number of charter schools, other law changes: HI, MA, RI, SC
  • Forced public school conversion to charter school: CO
  • Technical assistance, oversight, "one-stop shop" for charter schools: CO,HI, SC
  • Charter school programs for high-need students: CO, UT
  • Governor's commissions/ summits on school choice: UT
High Need Students: Low-Income, Special Education and Student Health
  • Removing junk food vending machines from schools: NM
  • Required dental exams for young children: IL
  • Expanding healthy breakfast programs for students: CA, WI
  • Teaching high school athletes about the dangers of steroids: IL, NJ
  • High school drug counseling programs: VT
  • Awareness campaign on dangers of childhood obesity: NM, NY
  • Governor's commissions/ summits on special education: ME, WI
  • School supply collection drive: AZ
  • Student scholarships for students behind in reading: FL
School Safety and Disruptive Students
  • School manuals on preventing bullying and harassment: IA
  • Harsher penalities for violence against educators: NY, SC
  • Classroom management training on working with disruptive students: MS
  • Revoking driver's licenses if student has too many unexcused absences: GA
  • State safety center to help schools: TX

Principal Leadership/ Turning Around Low Performing Schools

  • Best practices forum for principals: FL
  • Breaking down large schools into smaller learning communities: OH, SC
  • Training "turn around" specialists: RI, VA
  • Governor's commissions/ summits on school leadership: AL, NV, NC
  • Governor's commission on principal leadership/ accountability: MD

Public School Partnerships with Private and Public Sector

  • Partnerships between early childhood educators and the private sector: MD, MI, VA
  • School partnerships between schools and community members, organizations: NY, WI
  • Cross-sector partnerships to boost math and science: OH, TN
  • Partnerships between universities and the private sector to prepare students for jobs: ME, MI, ND
  • Service learning programs to teach students about value of service: IL, NJ
  • Governor's commission on public/ higher education and the Economy: OH, MI


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