Educational Alternatives (EAI)
Background and History
EAI is a non-profit corporation with a focus on educational reform.
It began its operation in 1978 one year after its founder Dr. Raymond Hartjen was awarded a contract with the U.S. Department of Education as the Maryland State Facilitator for the National Diffusion Network. In later years this became a grant program. EAI retained the State Facilitator program until 1996, the last year the NDN was funded. Functionally this grant enabled EAI to operate as a broker of teacher training services with programs drawn from a pool of resources that have proven to be effective.
In the peak year of operating as the State Facilitator EAI brought educational reform to close to 700 schools in Maryland. This effort included teacher training in classroom management, curriculum reform, and early childhood/parent involvement programs. One colleague, involved with another grant program which gave service to Maryland schools, commented, “Do you realize that you have had an effect on over half the schools in Maryland? We with our multimillion dollar grant are pleased if we effect 10% of the schools.” During the course of the nineteen year association with the U.S. Department of Education EAI received over 1.8 million dollars in funding.
EAI continues to focus its efforts on educational reform. While the past efforts were centered on shoring up current teacher practices the new thrust is on systemic reform with a serious consideration given to the long term effects of the education process on sustaining student behavior that enables graduates to be effective citizens and well centered in pursuing their life’s objectives.