21st Century Milestones
The Center for Educational Innovation
The Center for Educational Innovation (CEI) is a nonprofit organization that carries forward the
history of two respected public education organizations which merged in 2000: The Center for
Educational Innovation (CEI) and the Public Education Association (PEA). CEI was established in
1989 as a component of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research to transform public
education by shifting accountability from bureaucracies to schools as a means of creating public
school choice for communities. PEA was founded in 1895 and for over 100 years worked for
systemic and sustainable reform of the city’s public school system. Together, the organizations’
histories mark some of the most important milestones for advancing New York City’s public
2000 – CEI and PEA merged to form the “Center for Educational Innovation – Public Education
2003 – CEI-PEA launched Project BOOST to provide academic, social and cultural enrichment to under-
2004 –CEI-PEA launched an initiative to develop public school choice programs in 5 major cities across
the United States through a multi-year grant from the US Department of Education.
2007 –CEI-PEA selected as a Partnership Support Organization (PSO) for NYC public schools; awarded
$10.5 million federal Teacher Incentive Fund grant to launch PICCS: Partnership for Innovation and
Collaboration for Charter Schools.
2008 –CEI-PEA launched 21st Century Community Learning Center programs with 3 NYC public schools.
2010 – Number of schools selecting CEI-PEA as their Partnership Support Organization rises to 118,
PICCS expanded to 13 new charter schools in NYC and Buffalo with $17.5 million in federal Teacher
Incentive Fund grants, and a national Network of Independent Charter Schools was launched with a $2
million federal grant.
2013 – CEI-PEA received funding to expand arts programming into more than 160 New York City public
schools and launched the Franklin Covey Leader in Me program to improve learning environments in
2014 – 207 schools selected CEI-PEA as their Partnership Support Organization, which makes our PSO the
sixth largest public school system in the United States.
2015 – The organization shortens its name to “Center for Educational Innovation” (“CEI”) and launched
new initiatives focused on easing the use of technology into the classroom and helping middle schools
transform for 21st-century learners.
2017 – CEI launched new initiatives in personalized learning and social emotional learning to support the
many schools in its networks to transform the 21st century learner.
2018 – CEI qualified as an independent receiver for consistently low performing schools in need of turnaround services, taking the organization back to its core mission of creating quality educational opportunities for all students.
CEI presented its 14th Annual Summer Leadership Institute, bringing together hundreds of public school administrators for a day of state of the art professional learning and sharing of best practice.