The Department of Education has announced the 23 finalists in the second round of the Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition. Selected from over 600 applications, the 23 finalists represent individual school districts, groups of districts and nonprofit partnerships focused on developing innovative strategies that address various educational initiatives, including supporting effective teachers and turning around persistently low-performing schools. Each award is contingent on the applicant’s ability to secure a private match of a portion of their grant total, which may range from 5 to 15 percent based on the grant proposal.
This year’s i3 grant competition offered $150 in total funding – only 25% of the nearly $650 million available in 2010 – and included an emphasis on improving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, as well as increasing graduation rates in rural areas. The largest grant was awarded to Old Dominion University Research Foundation, which received $25 million in a “scale-up” grant to provide high-need middle school students with access to quality math courses. In addition to “scale-up” grants, 5 “validation” grants were awarded, which will support efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of existing programs, and 17 “development” grants were awarded, which will support the evaluation of new practices and programs. One such “development” grant was received by The Ounce of Prevention Fund, which has partnered with Chicago Public Schools to implement and evaluate a professional development initiative that will improve classroom instruction and school leadership in early-education programs.
For more information, including a complete list of finalists, please click here.