Executive Skills & Strategy

Federal Innovation-Grant Winners to Share $135 Million

By Michele McNeil — November 12, 2013 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Twenty-five districts and their nonprofit partners are slated to share $135 million in the latest round of the federal Investing in Innovation competition, the U.S. Department of Education announced last week.

This marks the fourth round of one of the Obama administration’s signature initiatives—a competition designed to find and scale up some of the most innovative ideas for improving education. The largest grants go to the promising ideas that have the strongest evidence base, with smaller awards set aside for more experimental ideas.

Individual awards will range from $2.4 million to $12 million. When the highest-rated applicants were announced Nov. 8, only two traditional school districts were winners: the Cabarrus County school system in Concord, N.C., and the Carroll County schools, in Carrollton, Ga. Both won the smallest development awards.

One charter school operator, University Public Schools in Tempe, Ariz., was a development winner, as was the Maricopa County Education Service Agency, also in Arizona.

“In this era of rapid change, we must make sure that our students are keeping pace with the rigor, relevance, and changing demands of the global job market,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a statement announcing the awards.

Just as in previous rounds, the new recipients—representing 13 states and the District of Columbia—will have to secure matching funds of up to 15 percent from the private sector by Dec. 11 before they can get their money. Technically, the Education Department calls them “highest-rated applicants” rather than winners until they’ve secured their matches.

Growing Portfolio

This year’s contest marks the second time the Education Department has decided not to award any grants in the “scale up” category, which carried the largest potential funding, $20 million, and required the most evidence of past success.

From a pool of 618 applicants, outside judges helped the department select seven “validation” winners, which could get up to $12 million each, and 18 “development winners,” which stand to get up to $3 million.

“Each year, we are able to grow the portfolio of solutions and the body of evidence that supports these practices,” Nadya Chinoy Dabby, the acting assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement, said in a statement.

With the latest development-grant winners, there are 77 such winners in the department’s portfolio that are implementing new, promising practices, federal officials said.

The regents of the University of California won both a development grant and a larger validation award.

The six other winners in the validation category are: Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound and Teachers College at Columbia University, both in New York City; sri International, with headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.; Jacksonville State University, in Alabama; Spurwink Services, in Portland, Maine; and the Waterford Institute, in Sandy, Utah.

Other development winners are: CASA de Maryland, in Langley Park, Md.; the Center for Applied Linguistics and the Challenger Center for Space Education, both in the District of Columbia; Connected: The California Center for College and Career, in Berkeley, Calif.; the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, in Savoy, Ill.; Pennsylvania State University; Seneca Family of Agencies, in San Leandro, Calif.; Sonoma State University, in Rohnert Park, Calif.; the New York City Leadership Academy in Long Island City, N.Y.; the Children’s Aid Society in New York City; the Providence Plan, in Rhode Island; the United Way of Greater Atlanta; and the University of Massachusetts Boston.

A version of this article appeared in the November 13, 2013 edition of Education Week as Federal Innovation-Grant Winners to Share $135 Million


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
IT Infrastructure Webinar
A New Era In Connected Learning: Security, Accessibility and Affordability for a Future-Ready Classroom
Learn about Windows 11 SE and Surface Laptop SE. Enable students to unlock learning and develop new skills.
Content provided by Microsoft Surface
Classroom Technology K-12 Essentials Forum Making Technology Work Better in Schools
Join experts for a look at the steps schools are taking (or should take) to improve the use of technology in schools.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Budget & Finance Webinar
The ABCs of ESSER: How to Make the Most of Relief Funds Before They Expire
Join a diverse group of K-12 experts to learn how to leverage federal funds before they expire and improve student learning environments.
Content provided by Johnson Controls

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Executive Skills & Strategy Opinion Stop Ignoring the Innovation That Happens in Traditional Public Schools
Three national educational funders explain a new program that is highlighting innovative practices in schools around the country.
Jenny Curtin, Britt Neuhaus & Saskia Levy Thompson
4 min read
Executive Skills & Strategy 'Genius Hour' Lets Kids Take Charge: Would Einstein Have Liked This?
Teachers open doors for students to fuel their curiosity and pursue passion projects, but educators warn against making it a free-for-all.
10 min read
Quin, Ezra, and Owen participate in genius hour in teacher Melisa Hayes’ 2nd grade class at Avery Elementary School in Hilliard, Ohio.
Quin, Ezra, and Owen participate in genius hour in teacher Melisa Hayes’ 2nd grade class at Avery Elementary School in Hilliard, Ohio.
Maddie McGarvey
Executive Skills & Strategy K12 Inc., Ga. Cyber Academy Contract Battle Brews
Students locked out of their school's computer systems. Educators unable to get access to some students' records. Parents receiving emails asking that they return their children's laptops.
6 min read
Executive Skills & Strategy Report Roundup Research Report: Teaching
Forty percent of what elementary school teachers do on a typical workday could be automated by 2030, predicts a new report by the McKinsey Global Institute.
1 min read