School & District Management

Education Department Awards $103 Million in Investing in Innovation Projects

By Sarah D. Sparks — November 09, 2016 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

In the last round of federal Investing in Innovation grants under President Obama, the competition intended to find and build up research-based educational interventions has borne its first full fruit.

Among the 15 grants announced this afternoon, Spurwink Services Inc.'s Building Assets, Reducing Risks, became the first program to work its way up through all three of i3’s grant tiers. Started by a Minnesota guidance counselor with a $5 million development grant, it built enough evidence to win a $12 million validation grant in 2013. Today BARR won a 5-year, $20 million scale-up grant to expand to 50 more schools in California, Tennessee, Maine, Minnesota, and Texas.

BARR trains teams of teachers to quickly size up the needs and progress of every student on campus using weekly data on students’ academic and social development. During a visit to two districts piloting the program in Maine, teachers said the program helped them prevent average but faltering students from slipping off track:

When you have 100 kids on your caseload, you have to deal with the bigger issues in class, and the kid who comes 30 seconds late to class every day can slip under your radar," said Josh Tripp, who was a math teacher in the nearly 400-student Bucksport High School four years ago when the school district, located on the state's far-north coast, volunteered to participate in a $5 million development grant in the first round of the federal Investing in Innovation program. "I thought we were really good at interpersonal relationships with our kids," Tripp said, "but you don't know your kids until you are talking about them every week."

The i3 program, the only one of the Obama administration’s stimulus-era programs to be authorized under the Every Student Succeeds Act, may face an uncertain funding future under a President Trump. But the current round of $103 million grants has all been forward funded for the next three to five years—provided they find private matching money by the end of December. That is likely to protect the i3 grantees from funding battles later.

Fifteen programs were selected from a pool of nearly 400 applicants. The National Writing Project also moved from a validation to a scale-up grant, winning just under $20 million to expand in 15 states. The validation grants included: $12 million for Texas A&M University, slightly less than $12 million for the Fresno County, Calif. office of education, and $9.3 million for Uncommon Schools. It also included 10 $3 million development grants.

“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,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. in a statement on the awards.

Photo: Science teacher Andrea Froburg, math teacher Jessica Cutliffe, and special educator Aimee Hall, from left to right, review a student’s file in a Building Assets-Reducing Risks meeting at Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine. Noble is testing the BARR program with i3 funding. Source: Sarah Rice for Education Week.


Related:

Want more research news? Get the latest studies and join the conversation.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

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.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
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.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
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.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

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

School & District Management 10 Ways to Tackle Education's Urgent Challenges
As the school year gets underway, we ask hard questions about education’s biggest challenges and offer some solutions.
2 min read
Conceptual Image of schools preparing for the pandemic
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management Reported Essay Principals Need Social-Emotional Support, Too
By overlooking the well-being of their school leaders, districts could limit how much their schools can flourish.
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management From Our Research Center Educator Stress, Anti-Racism, and Pandemic Response: How You're Feeling
A new nationally representative survey offers key takeaways from teachers, principals, and district leaders.
EdWeek Research Center
1 min read
2021 BI COVER no text DATA crop
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management Download 8 Tips for Building a Digital Learning Plan That Conquers Chaos
Craft flexible strategies, encourage experimentation with new instructional models, and regularly solicit feedback.
1 min read
onsr edtech tips
Getty