U.S. Department of Education Announces Highest-Rated Applications for the 2016 Investing in Innovation Competition

November 9, 2016 — Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced the 15 highest-rated applications for the 2016 Investing in Innovation (i3) competition, which will award more than $103 million to launch and expand evidence-based practices that support educators and transform students' academic experiences. These 15 potential grantees—selected from 385 applications—will have to secure matching private sector funds by December 2016 in order to receive federal funding.

"Today's announcement reflects educators' deep commitment to students," said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. "Educators are constantly developing new ideas to better assist their students, and i3 empowers educators to develop these approaches into practices that can benefit schools and districts across the country."

The i3 program awards grants across three categories—development, validation, and scale-up—that increase in size depending upon prior evidence of effectiveness. For the first time in the program's history, the potential grantees announced today include an organization that will use a scale-up award to expand a program that was launched under an i3 development grant and refined under an i3 validation award. Spurwink Services Inc.'s Building Assets Reducing Risks program has consistently demonstrated its effectiveness through rigorous evaluations at improving academic outcomes, graduation rates and attendance. The program was developed by a high-school educator in Minnesota and helps teachers and school leaders build stronger relationships with their students in order to improve student engagement and achievement. Its scale-up award will allow it to expand to 50 additional schools across five states, impacting almost 150,000 students and 11,600 teachers.

"Investing in research and development is what drives innovation. We see this in our country's technology, defense, and health-care sectors, and we are proud to support such investments in education," said Nadya Chinoy Dabby, the Department's assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement. "The i3 program helps educators turn their innovations into scalable practices that improve students' lives, and we are thrilled to announce 15 projects that have the potential to reach almost 375,000 students."

A signature program of the Obama Administration, i3 has galvanized educators across the country to develop, build out and apply research on practices that address the most persistent challenges in education. The Department launched the first i3 competition in 2010 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Through the seven i3 grant competitions, the Department has received more than 5,000 i3 applications and, if this year's potential grantees successfully secure their matching private sector funds, it will have funded 172 of them at more than $1.4 billion, in addition to more than $260 million in private sector funding.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act in December 2015, established the Education Innovation and Research program to build on i3's successes and continue driving innovation in support of educators and students. The Education Innovation and Research program continues i3's tiered-evidence approach to generating and building upon innovative, locally-driven practices that improve outcomes for students.

The 15 i3 projects announced today will be the final i3 cohort, and the Department anticipates launching the inaugural Education Innovation and Research competition in 2017.

  • National Writing Project
  • Spurwink Services Inc.
Validation Grants
  • Fresno County Office of Education
  • Texas A&M University
  • Uncommon Schools Inc.
Development Grants
  • Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of Arizona State University
  • Cabarrus County Schools
  • Florida State University
  • HighScope Educational Research Foundation
  • Leading Educators, Inc.
  • Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility Inc.
  • Region One Education Service Center
  • Riverside County Office of Education
  • Santa Ana Unified School District
  • Virginia Advanced Study Strategies Inc.

November 09, 2016

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National Writing Project