Calling All Teachers: Challenge to Innovate!

On September 7, the Department and the National Education Association (NEA) Foundation launched a new program, along with the US Department of Education, for teachers to identify and solve education’s most pressing classroom challenges. “Challenge to Innovate” (C2i) enlists teachers to think creatively and implement innovative classroom ideas. C2i also recognizes the urgency of improvement by providing a new model that moves rapidly from idea conception to implementation and evaluation, while simultaneously supplying critical support to educators. Educator ideas are already pouring in! You can view here.


The Department’s Open Innovation Portal will host the three-phase C2i.

  • Phase 1, through October 19, asks teachers to share their most pressing classroom challenges that can be solved with $500 or less. The five ideas receiving the most votes — judged by the portal’s community — will receive $1,000 from the NEA Foundation.
  • In Phase 2, from November 16 through January 14, teachers will post the best solutions to the five winning challenges. Up to 10 solutions will receive a $2,500 implementation grant from the NEA Foundation.
  • In Phase 3, from January 17 through February 4, the NEA Foundation will select up to three solutions to receive a $5,000 planning grant and technical support.

These solutions will be posted on the Donors Choose Website, where teachers will be invited to submit requests to receive up to $500 in implementation costs. The NEA Foundation, with citizen philanthropists, will provide the funding for teachers to implement and test these innovation solutions.

More information on Challenge to Innovate is available here

Learn more about the Cooney Center’s Digital Age Teacher Preparation Council


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