The Education Innovation Institute was created in 2009 by the Colorado General Assembly to leverage new and existing applied research to solve practical problems in education reform. (Senate Bill 09-032)
Charges for EII outlined in the legislation include:
- Collaborate with institutions to leverage research, funding, expertise, and other resources;
- Discover and study innovations in teaching and learning;
- Produce data and analyses concerning issues including, but not limited to, the following:
- existing or nascent problems in education;
- models of innovative educational solutions; and
- financing and governance models for educational settings;
- Provide public policy makers with data and analyses concerning educational program effectiveness and innovative options for public and private educational settings; and
- Identify key issues and set research priorities in consultation with education experts, business and community leaders, and public officials
Shortly after EII began operation in spring 2011 it appointed an advisory cabinet made up of accomplished educators, thinkers, and policy innovators. This group generously provided advice on policy issues and suggested projects for the institute to pursue during EII’s first two years of existence.
- Robert Dickeson, an educator and policy advisor whose service has included senior vice-president at the Lumina Foundation for Education, a senior counsel on higher education to Widmeyer Communications, senior vice-president at USA Group, president and CEO of Noel-Levitz Centers, president of the University of Northern Colorado, cabinet chair for Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt, and chief of staff to former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer.
- Shannon Hagerman, Executive Director of Teacher and Principal Preparation with the Denver Teacher Residency and former executive director of innovation schools for Denver Public Schools and past principal of the Montclair School of Academics & Enrichment in DPS.
- Frederick Hess, a resident scholar and director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, an executive editor of Education Next, author of several books and numerous essays, member of the review board for the Broad Prize in Urban Education, member of the boards of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and the American Board for the Certification of Teaching Excellence.
- Colorado Sen. Mike Johnston, co-founder of New Leaders for New Schools, a national non-profit that recruits and trains urban principals, a former high school teacher and principal, and a past adjunct professor of both education law at the University of Denver.
- Dwight Jones, former superintendent of the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, past state Commissioner of Education in Colorado, and past teacher, principal, and superintendent in several school districts.
- Holly Kuzmich, Senior Vice President at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, former vice president and chief operating officer of Margaret Spellings and Company, former assistant secretary and former deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Education, former associate director for education with the White House Domestic Policy Council, and a policy staff positions in the U.S. Senate.
- Monte Moses, education consultant, past superintendent of the Cherry Creek School District in Colorado, administrative posts in Littleton, Colorado, Garland, Texas, and Casper, Wyoming, former faculty member at.
Murray State University in Kentucky, and member of several boards including the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, AVID, ASCD advisory board on the whole child, Colorado Race to the Top committee, Colorado P-20 Council, and the Western States Benchmarking Consortium.
- Marlene Seltzer, president and CEO of Jobs for the Future, former commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Employment and Training, and past president of Seltzer Associates, a for-profit consulting firm.