Education Innovation on the Rise

August 5th, 2010

Category: News

Yesterday, the United States Department of Education announced the 49 finalists for the Investing in Innovation (i3) fund. The i3 program will provide up to $650 million to school districts and nonprofit organizations to expand the implementation of, and investment in, innovative practices that have a demonstrated impact on improving academic outcomes for students. The finalists were chosen from over 1,700 applications. They have until September 8th to obtain a 20% private-sector funding match in order to receive the award. 

First, two organizations explicitly written into Delaware’s winning Race to the Top application will receive funds to expand their impact nationwide. These include:
  • Teach For America – TFA recruits and supports high-quality college graduates who commit at least two years to serve students in high-needs schools. 
  • The New Teacher Project – TNTP recruits both recent college graduates and mid-career professionals to become lifelong teachers dedicated to working inside high-needs schools in critical shortage areas. 
Second, numerous finalists that submitted applications might warrant further exploration by Delaware’s educators for expansion into the First State. These include:
  • Children’s Literacy Initiative – CLI is a teacher professional development program that includes three years of training, intensive coaching, high-quality instructional tools, and professional learning communities that help students reach the critical milestone of reading on grade level by the end of 3rd grade.
  • KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) – KIPP is a national network of high-performing charter schools that strive to eliminate the achievement gap among high-needs students by providing the requisite knowledge and skills to pursue higher education opportunities.
  • The Achievement Network – The Achievement Network provides schools and districts the tools and support to engage in high-quality data-driven instruction to increase student learning.
  • New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO) – NSNO will replicate its model in Memphis and Nashville by providing support to public and charter schools in attracting talented educators and leaders, launching and supporting charter schools, and supporting communities in advocating for high-quality public schools.
And last, many states will benefit from programs that already demonstrate great success within Delaware. These programs include:
  • Parents as Teachers – The grant replicates the model to American Indian families by supporting home-visits, routine health and developmental screenings for children, parent group meetings, and resource referrals.
  • eMINTS – The grant provides numerous rural school districts intensive professional development, in-class coaching, and access to unparalleled technologies.
  • Smithsonian Institution – The grant helps school districts create the infrastructure required to support and promote high-quality, inquiry-oriented science instruction in every classroom.

Although already successful in our quest to obtain Race to the Top and SIG funds, Delaware could benefit in the future by looking to develop positive relationships with these organizations that are leading national efforts to bring innovation and excellence into the field of education.

Brett Turner



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