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CTE Policy Watch

Department of Education Announces 2013 Investing in Innovation Competition



By: Brendan

The U.S. Department of Education announced last week the start of the 2013 Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition. The announcement included a new set of priorities and a pre-application for the competition’s “development” category.

Originally launched in 2010, the i3 grants are designed to encourage school districts and nonprofits to work in partnership to develop and expand practices that accelerate learning and prepare every student to succeed in college and in their careers. The competition is broken into three grant categories: development, validation and scale-up, with each category receiving a share of the competition’s $150 million grant fund.

The “development” category is intended to provide funding to promising but untested ideas, and has proven to be the most popular of the three grants. Because of its popularity during the previous three grant cycles, the department has again decided to use a pre-application to reduce the burden on applicants with limited resources.

In addition to the broader priorities of the competition, the department has incorporated new sub-priorities for each of the categories. The “development” category includes several of these new priorities:

  • Improving effectiveness of teachers or principals
  • Improving low-performing schools
  • Improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
  • Improving academic outcomes for students with disabilities
  • Improving academic outcomes for English learners (ELs)
  • Improving parent and family engagement
  • Effective use of technology
  • Serving rural communities

The department will announce the start of applications for the “validation” and “scale-up” categories later this spring.

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