Investing in Innovation (i3) Program Announces Grants


The 13 finalists for i3 grants — Investing in Innovation — have been announced, and now the organizations await the formalization of their grants for education improvements.

Assuming that each organization receives the required matching donations from private funding, The United States Department of Education will be splitting $113 million in Investing in Innovation (i3) funding among these 13 organizations. The money will go toward programs for student achievement, college readiness, improved science education, low-performing schools, and teacher and administrator effectiveness.

The finalists include the After-School Corporation, the Association of Alaska School Boards, the Center for Supportive Schools, the Desoto Independent School District, McREL International, Metropolitan-Nashville Public Schools, New Visions for Public Schools, Inc., the Curators of the University of Missouri, Columbus State Community College, Jacksonville State University, the Children's Literacy Initiative, the National Math and Science Initiative, and the New Teacher Center. These programs were chosen from more than 400 applications for the evidence they provided of the efficacy of their programs.

Depending on the program's focus, each organization must receive 5-15% in matching funds by December of this year to formalize their grants, according to a press release from the US Department of Education.

John B. King, Jr., the Senior Advisor Delegated Duties of Deputy Secretary of Education, said:

"Through i3, educators are dramatically improving outcomes for students, and we are committed to providing teachers and school leaders with the resources they need to continue this important work."

The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), which is based in Dallas, Texas, will receive $20 million to expand its College Readiness Program (CRP), writes Michael Hart of THE Journal. The CRP aims to increase the amount of historically underserved students who earn take AP math, science, and English classes and achieve qualifying scores on the exams. With the grant, the CRP hopes to reach ten more school districts, both urban and rural, in eight states, to add to its current total of 800 schools in 30 states.

NMSI CEO Matthew Randazzo said:

"This grant will enable us to broaden CRP's reach to 60,000 additional students… and help ensure that they have the knowledge and skills they need to thrive."

Jacksonville State University has been chosen, according to JSU News, for its JSU CORE (Collaborative Regional Education) program. This program aims:

"… to fuel transformation in K-12 and higher education classrooms through professional development, project-/challenge-based learning, technology, classroom support, change management and partnership building, evaluation and research, dual enrollment, and innovative teacher preparation."

The Investing in Innovation Fund was established in 2009 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, reports the Office of Innovation and Improvement, to provide organizations with grants to help them implement education innovations. To date, the program has awarded over $1.2 billion in federal funding, matched by $200 million from private investors.

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