All 2012 Investing in Innovation Top Applicants Secure Private Donors’ Support

(December 18, 2012) Today the U.S. Department of Education announced all 20 of the highest-rated applicants in the 2012 Investing in Innovation (i3) competition have secured their required private-sector matching funds and have become official i3 grantees. Together, they will share more than $140 million in federal funds to expand innovative practices designed to accelerate achievement and help prepare every student to succeed in college and in their careers.

“We know private partners play a huge role in driving local education reform efforts when they can invest in promising ideas, and these grantees have proposed a variety of innovative approaches to close achievement gaps and ultimately prepare every student for lifelong success,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Partnerships like these are vital to supporting teachers and students as they tackle some of the toughest issues in education.”

The i3 program announced these 20 highest-rated applications last month. Applicants then had four weeks to secure private-sector matching funds, either in cash or in-kind. In total, private donors are providing more than $16 million to support this year’s i3 projects. The 20 grantees, which were selected from 727 applications, represent a cross-section of school districts, universities and nonprofits that are partnering with schools across the country to increase student learning.

“The third cohort of i3 winners and their work are not only exciting on their own,” said Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement Jim Shelton, “but because they reveal the potential of the portfolio that will be built over time. In just a few short years educators will have new and improved solutions to some of our most persistent challenges—increasing AP participation and pass rates, improving literacy outcomes of low performing students, improving STEM outcomes and interest for early learners, and many more.”

Applicants in the i3 program compete for funding in three categories: Validation, Development and Scale-up. Eight of the 2012 grantees fall into the Validation category, and 12 are in the Development category. This year, the Department did not identify any potential Scale-up grantees, instead investing in promising projects within the other two categories.

Validation grants provide up to $15 million to fund innovations with moderate levels of evidence of their effectiveness, and grantees had to secure private matching funds equivalent to at least 10 percent of their federal award. Development grants provide up to $3 million to support promising but relatively untested projects with high potential for impact on student achievement. Development grantees had to secure private matching funds equivalent to at least 15 percent of their federal award.

The 20 grantees will begin implementing their projects in the coming months. With the addition of the 2012 winners, the i3 program now includes 92 grantees that are utilizing nearly $1 billion in federal funds and over $162 million in private-sector matching funds to address persistent education challenges and scale-up effective solutions.

More information about the i3 program can be found on the i3 website: A list of the 2012 grantees, project information and award amounts follows. To download a spreadsheet that includes a list of districts served by the i3 grantees, as well as additional data, visit:

Validation grantees (10 percent private match required)1

New Teacher Center will work with three school districts, including one rural school district in Iowa, to increase teacher retention beginning with teacher induction and continuing with mentor programs.
Grantee location: Santa Cruz, Calif.
i3 grant: $14,680,855
Matching Funds: $1,472,616

Texas A&M University will improve language acquisition and literacy skills for English Learners and use technology to conduct virtual teacher observations and virtual professional development.
Grantee location: College Station, Texas
i3 grant: $14,781,817
Matching Funds: $1,482,744

New Leaders, Inc. will increase the number of effective school leaders in high-need schools to support increased academic achievement in students.
Grantee location: New York, N.Y.
i3 grant: $14,953,848
Matching funds: $1,500,000

WestEd will improve students’ school readiness and early learning math programs by implementing and evaluating a two-year math intervention, using research-based pre-school and kindergarten components, to determine whether these students out perform their peers in later years.
Grantee location: San Francisco, Calif.
i3 grant: $14,947,796
Matching funds: $1,499,393

LEED Sacramento will implement and evaluate a nationally used engineering program, Project Lead the Way, for grades 9-12 and improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
Grantee location: Sacramento, Calif.
i3 grant: $5,067,276
Matching funds: $508,291

Jobs for the Future, Inc. will prepare students for college through various programs that promote personalization, engagement and strong relationships between students and teachers.
Grantee location: Boston, Mass.
i3 grant: $14,953,848
Matching funds: $1,500,000

Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System will remove barriers to school turnaround and improve early learning outcomes by strengthening parent and family engagement.
Grantee location: Madison, Wis.
i3 grant: $14,953,848
Matching funds: $1,500,000

National Writing Project will work in 40 rural districts across eight states to provide professional development to writing teachers to expand their practice of teaching analytical writing to improve student performance, and become teacher-leaders in rural communities.
Grantee location: Berkeley, Calif.
i3 grant: $14,902,854
Matching funds: $1,494,885

Development grantees (15 percent private match required) 1

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards will work to raise achievement levels of high need students in grades 3-6, particularly in math and science, by improving teaching practices through the use of a virtual library of lesson plans, including videos accompanied by analysis.
Grantee location: Arlington, Va. 
i3 grant: $2,990,770
Matching funds: $450,000

Citizen Schools, Inc. will recruit, train, and support thousands of volunteers from the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields to lead STEM apprenticeships for middle school students.
Grantee location: Boston, Mass.
i3 grant: $2,990,770
Matching funds: $450,000

Clark County School District will provide project-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) coursework for high-need students.
Grantee location: Las Vegas, Nevada
i3 grant: $2,959,054
Matching funds: $445,228

WestEd will use an Internet-based reading apprenticeship for educators to improve science education in 18 schools.
Grantee location: San Francisco, Calif.
i3 grant: $2,479,680
Matching funds: $373,100

Intercultural Development Research Association will increase college readiness for English Learners by developing new and sustainable practices to engage both families and the community.
Grantee location: San Antonio, Texas
i3 grant: $2,517,933
Matching funds: $378,856

California Association for Bilingual Education will build family awareness and competence in improving their child’s educational outcomes, and the associated infrastructure for districts and schools to implement and sustain effective parent engagement.
Grantee location: Covina, Calif.
i3 grant: $2,988,945
Matching funds: $449,725

Central Falls School District will focus on developing parent and family resource hubs within schools.
Grantee location: Central Falls, R.I.
i3 grant: $2,953,254
Matching funds: $444,355

California League of Middle Schools will use technology and family engagement to engage and monitor student progress while also improving achievement so students can access a college preparatory curriculum in high school.
Grantee location: Long Beach, Calif.
i3 grant: $1,975,107
Matching funds: $297,180

Columbia College Chicago will turn around persistently low-performing schools through the use of digital media arts and technology in all curriculum and instruction, thereby expanding students’ and teachers’ technology skills.
Grantee location: Chicago, Ill.
i3 grant: $2,989,750
Matching funds: $449,847

Internationals Network for Public Schools will improve English Learners’ academic outcomes and college readiness by building collaborative interdisciplinary teams, supporting the same group of students.
Grantee location: New York, N.Y.
i3 grant: $2,990,770
Matching funds: $450,000

Virginia Advanced Study Strategies, Inc. will improve student outcomes in rural schools by engaging families to support student completion of math and science Web-based programs.
Grantee location: South Boston, Va.
i3 grant: $2,695,562
Matching funds: $405,582

AVID Center will work with three counties in Florida to implement the AVID College Readiness System, developing a vertically aligned system between middle schools, high schools and colleges to improve access to rigorous classes, increase high school completion rates and encourage college preparedness.
Grantee location: San Diego, Calif.
i3 grant: $2,988,655
Matching funds: $449,682

1 For the 2012 grantees, the Department’s recommended funding amount exceeds the amount of funds currently available under the i3 program. As such, each grant award listed has been temporarily reduced by 0.308 percent.
The Department plans to reinstate each grant to its full recommended award amount pending future Congressional appropriations for the i3 program. Note that the Department requested $150 million for the i3 program in FY 2013.

Cross-posted from the ED Blog.