Study Gives First Round of 'i3' Mixed Grades
Evidence-based criteria produced winners' list heavy on 'usual suspects'
The U.S. Department of Education’s $650 million experiment to find and scale up innovative education ideas was a mixed success: For the first time, money was awarded to programs that showed evidence of past success, but those rigorous standards also produced a list of winners full of the “usual suspects,” a new report finds.
The report released last month by Bellwether Education Partners , a Washington consulting firm, hammered away at a crucial question: Was the Obama administration’s Investing in Innovation program successful in finding truly innovative ideas that will improve K-12 education?
“Is it immediately obvious that they found breakthrough innovation? No, but that wasn’t necessarily their purpose,” said Kim Smith, a co-founder and chief executive officer of Bellwether, which is working with support from the Rockefeller Foundation on research about innovation. The report is the culmination of interviews with dozens of i3 applicants, winners, and philanthropists, plus a review of public...
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