Last fall, as mentioned in this earlier post, IDEA Public Schools started making plans about how to spend their Race to the Top grant money. They recently shared more details:
Among the pilot programs, new adaptive reading software for elementary schools that adjusts to a student’s reading level will be implemented in August. A summer institute to help students catch up on credits or advance to the next year in math would be added the following June.
The priciest project funded by the grant at $8 million would improve on an individual learning period built into the schedule of each secondary school in the charter network. Teachers split classes into small groups based on the level of their progress. The charter believes the process can be improved by adding more technology and software to free up instructors, said director of individualized learning Pablo Mejia.
“Nobody has to assign (the student) something to do,” he said. “Based on how he or she is responding, it’s going to decide where to take them next.”
Another $5.6 million will fund a software program to help teachers tailor instruction to students in their classrooms.
“IDEA moves to implement Race to the Top grant”, Andrew Kreighbaum, Monitor (Rio Grande Valley), January 11, 2013.
Regarding IDEA’s Austin and San Antonio campuses:
Although the students at those schools could not be included in the original Race to the Top grant, principals at those campuses will have the opportunity to apply for pilot programs. The Central Texas schools will also benefit indirectly from the efforts such as software development funded by the grant.