Dept of Ed Shows i3 Applications for Investing in Innovation

The US Department of Education has announced 124 i3 Development pre-applicants who are invited to apply for a share of the $150 million 2012 Investing in Innovation (i3) fund. These 124 applicants can be viewed here.

In February of this year potential Development applicants were invited to submit pre-applications in a move to simplify the overall process and allow broader participation. This appears to have been successful as 650 pre-applications were received, up 40% from last year, each of which was assessed by peer reviewers. 124 of these pre-applicants were invited to submit a full application; invites were based on the highest scores within the competition's five priorities.

"Every year, i3 brings in hundreds of applications with groundbreaking ideas on how to accelerate student achievement," said Assistant Deputy Secretary Jim Shelton. "The 2012 pre-application process significantly reduced the time required and difficulty of applying to this highly competitive program, easing the burden on most applicants and giving them timely feedback about the competitiveness of their applications."

Of the 124 applications successful in reaching the next stage of the process: 23 concern the effectiveness of teachers and principals; 39 focus on STEM education; 32 focus on engaging the parent and family in the student's education; 20 concern school turnarounds; and 10 focus on rural education.

Among the program's three grant categories—Scale-up, Validation, and Development—the Development competition has attracted the greatest participation every year. In 2010, 1,310 i3 Development applications were submitted among the nearly 1,700 total potential applications. And in 2011, 474 i3 Development applications were submitted among 676 total applications.

Each of the 124 successful pre-applicants is now invited to apply for individual awards of up to $3 million to fund new education programs which have the potential improve student achievement.

Applications will again be peer reviewed and the highest rated applicants will be announced later this year. Each successful applicant will then be required to obtain a private sector funding match of 15% for Development grants, 10% for Validation grants and 5% for Scale-up grants. Once the private sector funding is secured then the i3 award will be granted.

Final announcement of awards will take place by the end of the year.

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