Blog

Your Education Road Map

Politics K-12®

ESSA. Congress. State chiefs. School spending. Elections. Education Week reporters keep watch on education policy and politics in the nation’s capital and in the states. Read more from this blog.

Federal

Trump Education Dept. Awards New Innovation and Research Grants

By Alyson Klein — October 24, 2017 5 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

UPDATED

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced sixteen winners of the first Education Innovation and Research program, which replaced the Obama administration’s signature Investing in Innovation grants.

Even though the program has been revamped, and a new administration is in charge, the list of grantees includes many of the usual suspects. (Scroll down to the bottom for a list of winners.) The biggest winner, the National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technology, received a nearly $15 million grant for personalized learning, a big priority of both U.S. Secretary Education Betsy DeVos and the Obama administration.

Confused about the difference between EIR and i3? The Investing in Innovation or i3 program was first created in 2009 using money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment, aka the stimulus. It became one of the Obama administration’s marquee competitive grant programs. The goal of the program was to test out and scale up potentially impactful ideas.

When lawmakers passed the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015, they changed i3’s name to the Education Innovation and Research program. And it put some new twists on the program. For instance, only districts, universities, and non-profits could get i3 grants. But states can also snag EIR money. And states or districts can partner with for-profit companies. More on the Investing in Innovation program in this explainer.

So how did these changes play out with this first round of grants? No state education agency was a direct recipient of a grant. At first glance, it doesn’t appear as though any for-profit companies were direct recipients, either. And a lot of past grantees got more funding.

At least six of the sixteen winners also got i3 grants during the Obama era Those grantees include: the American Institutes for Research, Metropolitan Nashville Schools, the Niswonger Foundation, the Center for Supportive Schools, the Intercultural Development Research Association, and Teach for America. TFA, in fact, was one of the very first i3 grantees, receiving a $50 million grant. (Scroll down for a full list of grantees.)

It’s not a total surprise that some familiar names would make it into the winners circle. After all, part of the point of EIR—and i3—is helping grow proven approaches. And at least three of the past winners—the Niswonger Foundation, Metropolitan Nashville Schools, and the American Institutions for Research—originally got smaller grants, intended to test out promising ideas. This time around they got mid-sized grants, which are supposed to further test approaches that are already backed up by evidence. In fact, the Niswonger Foundation explicitly states that its new grant will build on past work.

What about school choice? DeVos and President Donald Trump had hoped to turn future rounds of EIR into a private school voucher program, but Congress nixed that idea. Still, EIR is the broadest federal grant program for K-12. It can fund everything from literacy to social and emotional supports to early childhood education. The sky is basically the limit, as long as the grant would test out a promising practice.

That means the secretary has some leeway to put her own stamp on this program. DeVos’ new priorities for federal grants, which include promoting school choice, haven’t yet become official. But there seem to be at least a few on programs on this list that track with the Trump administration’s focus on school choice and personalized learning. For instance, IDEA, a charter management organization, received one of the grants.

Here’s the full list of Education Innovation and Research grant winners:

Expansion Grants - For growing proven programs

National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital TechnologyUnited2Read - Washington, D.C.

Scaling Personalized Literacy Instruction to Ensure Strong Student Achievement - $14,651 million

Mid-phase grants - For ideas backed by some evidence

American Institutes for Research - Washington, D.C.

Scaling and Sustaining Effective Teacher Professional Development for Secondary Schools Using My Teaching Partner-Secondary

$7,787 million

Education Analytics, Inc. - Madison, Wisc.

SPARK CENTER: Scaling and validating a research based, cost-effective literacy intervention

$7.7 million

Metropolitan Nashville Schools - Nashville, Tenn.

Scaling up pyramid model implementation in preschool and kindergarten classrooms

$7.6 million

Niswonger Foundation - Greenville, Tenn.

Rural literacy initiative focused on effectiveness

$7.8 million

Strategic Education Research Partnership Institute - Washington, D.C.

Building capacity to support struggling adolescent readers

$7.8 million

TNTP, Inc. - Brooklyn, N.Y.

Turnaround Leadership Teams Strategy: Leadership More Effective Than the Sum of Its Parts

$7.8 million

Early Phase Grants - for testing out promising ideas

Austin Independent School District - Austin, Tex.

Supporting Behavior and Improving School Climate through the Elementary to Middle School Transition: Whole School Restorative Practices in Austin Independent School District

$3.5 million

Center for Supportive Schools (CSS) - Princeton, N.J.

Improving Educational Outcomes in High Need, Low-Income Rural and Urban Communities Through a Middle School Transition and Cross-Age Peer Mentoring Model

$3.1 million

DuPage Regional Office Of Education #19 - Wheaton, Ill.

Partners To Lead - A consortium of 26 rural and/or high-need local education agencies

$3.9 million

Intercultural Development Research Association - San Antonio, Texas

Reenergizing Leadership to Achieve Greater Student Success

$3.9 million

IPS Enterprises, LLC - Weslaco, Texas

IDEA C3: Culture, Character, and College

$3.9 million

Osage County Interlocal Cooperative - Hominy, Okla.

Project ENGAGE (Effectively Narrowing Gaps And Growing Engagement)

$3.7 million

School District 1J Multnomah County - Portland, Ore.

PREP: Personalized, Relevant, Engaged for Postsecondary

$3.9 million

Teach For America - New York, N.Y.

Rural Schools Leadership Academy: Developing the Next Generation of Principals Across the Rural Landscape

$3.7 million

United Way of Massachusetts Bay Inc. - Boston, Mass.

BoSTEM

$3.9 million


Follow us on Twitter at @PoliticsK12.

Related Tags:

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

Federal Feds Add Florida to List of States Under Investigation Over Restrictions on Mask Mandates
The Education Department told the state Sept. 10 it will probe whether its mask rule is violating the rights of students with disabilities.
3 min read
Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session on April 30, 2021, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Surrounded by lawmakers, Florida Gov.Ron DeSantis speaks at the end of a legislative session on April 30, 2021, in Tallahassee, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Federal How Biden Will Mandate Teacher Vaccines, Testing in Some States That Don't Require Them
President Joe Biden's COVID-19 plan will create new teacher vaccination and testing requirements in some states through worker safety rules.
4 min read
Nurse Sara Muela, left, administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site setup for teachers and school staff at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa., on March 15, 2021.
Nurse Sara Muela administers a COVID-19 vaccine to educator Rebecca Titus at a vaccination site for at the Berks County Intermediate Unit in Reading, Pa.
Matt Rourke/AP
Federal Biden Pushes Schools to Expand COVID-19 Testing, Get More Teachers Vaccinated
President Joe Biden set teacher vaccine requirements for federally operated schools as part of a new effort to drive down COVID's spread.
7 min read
President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room at the White House, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in Washington. Biden is announcing sweeping new federal vaccine requirements affecting as many as 100 million Americans in an all-out effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations and curb the surging delta variant.
President Joe Biden in a speech from the White House announces sweeping new federal vaccine requirements and other efforts in an renewed effort to stem the COVID-19 pandemic.
Andrew Harnik/AP
Federal Education Department Opens Civil Rights Probes in 5 States That Ban School Mask Mandates
The move on behalf of students with disabilities deepens the fight over masks between the Biden administration and GOP governors.
4 min read
Kindergarten students sit in their classroom on the first day of in-person learning at Maurice Sendak Elementary School in Los Angeles on April 13, 2021.
Kindergarten students sit in their classroom on the first day of in-person learning at Maurice Sendak Elementary School in Los Angeles in April 2021.
Jae C. Hong/AP