US Department of Education Names Carnegie Corporation Grantees Among Winners of Innovation Competition
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Grantees Excel in US Department of Ed Innovation Competition
On November 13, the US Department of Education named three Carnegie Corporation grantees among the highest-rated awardees of the $113 million Investing in Innovation competition, known as i3, which is designed to seed new ideas in education. Their awards, totaling nearly $43 million, recognized the grantees for their missions and programs that are making a demonstrable difference in improving teacher effectiveness, expanding educational opportunities, and advancing student academics.
This support (contingent on raising additional private sector funds by the end of the year) will enable the New Teacher Center, the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), and New Visions for Public Schools, to share their strategies and ideas with a wider group of educators, students, and policy makers.
"We're thrilled that these awards will empower innovative educators working to expand opportunity for students across the country," said John King, incoming Secretary of Education. "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."
In the Scale-Up category, the Santa Cruz, California-based New Teacher Center believes student learning can’t improve unless new teachers and school leaders are better at what they do. The center offers teacher training and other programs to educators across the country, targeting the achievement gap. With nearly $20 million in i3 funding in the Scale-Up category to support expansion of successful programs, the New Teacher Center will push its training services to six districts. During the five-year term of the grant, the New Teacher Center will ultimately reach about 117,000 students through the teachers it trains.
The Dallas, Texas-based National Math and Science Initiative, also recognized in the Scale-Up category, focuses on STEM education. Its programs support ways to attract students to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, and help them succeed. NMSI also targets smarter approaches to recruiting and retaining new math and science teachers. The organization will apply the almost $20 million in i3 funds to expand its partnerships with 10 local education agencies in eight states. Through the expansion of its College Readiness Program, NMSI will increase the number of students taking and earning high enough scores on AP math, science and English exams—usually a 3—to get college credit.
New Visions for Public Schools currently works with 70 district schools and six charter high schools in New York City, reaching about 50,000 students. Its i3 grant of $3 million in the Development category for testing promising programs and practices, will support efforts to harness technology in support of teaching writing aligned with academic standards and targeted to individual student need.
The i3 grant competition rewards applications for rigorous evidence-based projects. Since the program's inception, the Department of Education has received more than 4,300 applications and awarded more than $1.2 billion matched by $200 million in private sector funding to support students and educators across the country.
--Merri Rosenberg is a journalist with more than 25 years of experience, including a specialty in education news. As a 2016 Carnegie Corporation of New York Visiting Media Fellow, her reporting helps to elevate the discussion of issues surrounding the Corporation’s programmatic work and its mission to promote knowledge and understanding.