The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

“Penn is the scrappy Ivy,” according to Graduate School of Education Vice Dean Douglas Lynch. But as a result, Penn is also “a catalyst for innovation.”

In an effort to live up to this reputation, GSE has teamed up with the Milken Family Foundation to launch the Milken-Penn GSE Prize for Business Plans in Education. The award will go to a student or team of students who proposes a plan for the most efficient way to run a school.

This is the first competition of its kind that addresses challenges in education. It aims to develop creative solutions that boost student achievement.

Penn is also the first school to introduce courses focusing specifically on the business of education.

The Milken family, most of whom has attended Penn, has made innovation in education a cornerstone of its work.

“The Milken-Penn GSE Prize for Business Plans in Education is designed to challenge the status quo and transform the education space,” Gregory Milken, a member of GSE’s Board of Overseers and the Milken Family Foundation Board of Trustees, said in a statement issued in November. “This competition will create opportunities for entrepreneurs, educators and, ultimately, students.”

The idea for the competition originated from Lynch’s course in business education, which is designed around a workshop of students’ ideas that are presented and put on “mock trial,” said Lynch. The competition simply formalized this format.

“The United States is the largest exporter of education,” Lynch said. “It changes your life, your family’s life, your community’s life. Innovation in entrepreneurship can help address the problems that the education system faces not just here, but all over the world.”

The Milken-Penn Prize will accept submissions from around the world that are designed to tackle the biggest issues at all levels of education, from pre-kindergarten through post-graduate. Nearly 70 applications for the prize have already been submitted. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 1.

The competition calls for plans that outline a problem, offer a solution and discuss additional applications for the plan.

The first-place winner will receive $25,000, while second place will receive $15,000. Prizes will be awarded beginning in June.

Winning plans will be implemented through organizations such as Ashoka, the Gates Foundation and Teach for America.

“We can’t educate the whole world,” said Lynch, “but we can certainly be the place where people can figure out how to teach the world.”

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.