New titles abound, but with limited evidence of real change
By Michael B. Horn and Sam Olivieri
If the first decade of the 21st century was dominated by talk of standards and accountability in K-12 education reform, then the 2010s were all about “innovation.”
It permeated the education zeitgeist, from the federal Investing in Innovation Fund to efforts to harness new technology and personalize student experiences. And it served as a shiny new foundation for repackaged approaches to reform like project-based learning, career and technical education, and school choice.
Now, just as corporations and colleges and universities have done before them, school districts are reflecting the innovation buzz by adding a new position to their leadership ranks: the chief innovation officer, or CIO. In school districts as in the corporate and higher-education sectors, it’s unclear whether adding a CIO represents a serious commitment to innovation or, rather, window dressing to promote a cutting-edge appearance.