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January 2012 Issue

Featured - University System of Georgia Institutions Play Major Part in Georgia’s Race to the Top

University System of Georgia Institutions Play Major Part in Georgia’s Race to the Top

Governor Nathan Deal wants to “provide students with the opportunities to practice and apply what they are learning in a high-quality, real-world environment,” therefore nearly $20 million of Race to the Top funds are being allotted for the Innovation Fund.

According to Governor Deal’s January 11 announcement of the second round of Race to the Top grant winners, the Innovation Fund will be used “to determine best practices in innovative programming related to STEM education, applied learning and teacher and leader recruitment and development to influence future education policy efforts.”

“At the core of the Innovation Fund is the following theory: If public and private organizations are encouraged by financial resources, policy environments and supportive operating conditions, then, the State of Georgia will be benefit from a stronger commitment from diverse stakeholders to support and advance K-12 public education, the ability to replicate innovative practices with a demonstrated record of success, and ultimately, improved outcomes for students.”

Five grants have been awarded through the Innovation Fund and the University System is a part of each one of the programs. The list is below:

  1. Drew Charter School Partners of Innovation – A partnership between Georgia State University and Georgia Institute for Technology and Drew Charter School to create one of the state’s first STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) schools. 

  2. Teach for Georgia – A teacher pipeline program modeled after Teach for America that will recruit Georgia Institute for Technology STEM majors to teach in rural areas of Georgia. 

  3. 21st Century STEM Collaborations: Applications of the Direct to Discovery Model – A collaboration between Barrow County Schools and the Georgia Institute for Technology to integrate the Direct to Discovery method into the requirements of the Georgia Performance Standards. 

  4. The KIPP Teacher Fellows Program – A teacher induction program that will train Georgia State University and Mercer University College of Education graduates and deploy them to metro Atlanta schools where they are most needed. 

  5. The Regional Charter STEM Academy – A partnership between White, Hall, and Lumpkin county school systems and North Georgia College & State University to create a tri-county STEM charter school.

Past K-12, Deal also stressed the importance of colleges working to ensure their graduates are ready for the workplace. Governor Deal says “postsecondary institutions must maintain an intense focus on employability and creating job opportunities.”

Posted by Sonja Roberts on January 24, 2012
Published in: On Campus

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