The 2012 Boston Innovation Incubator Finals

BOSTON -- Seven teams of 2012 Boston Innovation Incubator finalists – including educators, students, mentors, entrepreneurs, and non-profit leaders –gathered at City Hall to compete in the 2012 Boston Innovation Incubator Finals; results from the finals are being tallied, and the winner of Boston Leaders for the Future of Education’s (BLFE, pronounced “Belief”) highly coveted Boston Innovation Incubator prize will be announced this month.

Through an on-line voting process held last spring, BLFE members cast over 1,200 votes to select the following seven finalists that competed in the 2012 Boston Innovation Incubator Finals:
  •  FuelEd strengthens teacher preparation by equipping teachers with the social and emotional competencies essential to effective teaching.
  •  Mandatory Syllabi requires a syllabus to be provided, for every classroom in the public schools.
  • Community Mentoring pairs Hispanic mentors with students of similar backgrounds to show real-world connections between education and future career paths.
  • High School Teaching Apprenticeship develops pathways for urban students to explore and experience teaching as a potential career choice.
  • USAdelante creates a peer-to-peer network of support where students provide each other with the most relevant knowledge needed to excel.
  • What Excellence Looks Like trains teachers on how to plan by allowing teachers to create a customized calendar aligned to the specific needs of their students.
  •  PD Advisor creates robust database and rating system for teachers, administrators, and school personnel to access and assess high-quality professional development.

During the 2012 Boston Innovation Incubator Finals, each team of seven finalists presented their proposed innovations for advancing public education in Boston to five of the seven members of the competition’s Expert Review Panel: Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent, Carol R. Johnson, MA State Representative & Chair of the Joint Committee on Education, Alice H. Peisch, Boston City Councillor & Vice Chair of the Education Committee, Tito Jackson, the Education Advisor to the Mayor Menino, Martha Pierce, and BPS high school student & Boston Student Advisory Council Member, Heaven Reda. The additional two members of the Expert Review Panel unable to attend the finals include MA Secretary of Education, Paul Reville, and EdVestors’ Senior Vice President, Janet Anderson.

After each presentation, the Expert Review Panelists asked questions, gave feedback and made recommendations to the finalists’ proposals. Each panelist utilized a scoring rubric to review and rank the finalists’ proposals on its innovativeness and likelihood of making a lasting change for public education in Boston. Based upon the Expert Review Panelists’ scores, the winner of the 2012 Boston Innovation Incubator will be selected and announced in September 2012; the winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize to support their innovation.

BPS Superintendent and Expert Review Panelist, Carol R. Johnson, was impressed by the quality of the finalists’ proposals. After listening and giving feedback to all seven presentations, she helped put closure on the finals with her support; she stated, “We always welcome new ideas to build great partnerships that benefit student learning. The Boston Innovation Incubator proposals each address areas of important need...We are honored to have such talented and innovative thinkers working with our schools in Boston."