Only a quarter of federally funded education innovations benefited students, report says is the headline of a Hechinger Report article

It documents a federal program financially supporting 172 “innovative” programs, and it wasn’t very successful.

It’s not that clear from their funded list who actually initiated the projects, but I would certainly bet dollars-to-donuts that not many, if any, were led by teachers who were actually in the classroom.

Maybe it’s time for the feds, or a state, to start an education equivalent to the increasingly successful guaranteed cash grant programs to family providing no-strings attached monies.

In other words, instead of blowing their bucks on non-teacher initiated projects, give a large group of teachers $10,000 each to spend on their students anyway they deemed fit – books, field trips, snacks, bean bag chairs, etc. Really, is there any downside to doing something like that?

It wouldn’t seem fair, but I guess you have a control group of teachers who didn’t get anything (though, come on, they would have to get something for participating!), and then use multiple measures to assess success (like we did in our Long Term English Language Learners pilot program) – not just standardized test scores.

I’m not holding my breath – what do we teachers know about what our students, need, anyway?

ADDENDUM: I had forgotten to include one key reason why I think teachers’ ideas would be better – the principle of subsidiarity (the people closest to problems generally have a pretty good idea on how to solve them).