July 1, 2008 — The Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education at the University of Virginia was a runner-up in the Pioneer Institute's 17th annual Better Government Competition, which this year honored outstanding ideas in K-12 education reform.
By merging best practices from business and education, the partnership between U.Va.'s Darden School of Business and the Curry School of Education developed and offers the U.Va. School Turnaround Specialist Program and other innovative solutions to train principals and education leaders in new ways of improving failing schools. The partnership has worked with participants from almost a dozen states and cities around the country and recently began working with Portugal's Universidade Autonoma de Lisboa.
At a June 25 event in Boston, the Pioneer Institute gave its top award to the Florida Virtual School, a supplemental, Internet-based program. U.Va. was one of four runners-up.
The Pioneer Institute is dedicated to public policy research in several areas.