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US Department of Education Announces 2010 Highest-Rated i3 Applicants

Oklahoma Reader Comment: The reason there were so many applicants was that the Invitation Announcement estimated more than 200 grant awards. The Validation competition was estimated at 100 awards -- the Department gave only 15. 15! Thousands of people across the country spent thousands of hours collaborating and preparing grant applications because they thought they had a fair shot -- and they did not.

It would be one thing if they estimated 100 and gave 50...but to hold out a carrot like that and then award only fifteen is . If we had known they were only giving 15, we would have spent that 6 weeks working on something else. Shame on the USDOE.

In the so-called Investing in Innovation, or i3, fund grants, four groups--the KIPP Foundation, Ohio State University, the Success for All Foundation, and Teach For America won what are known as "scale up" awards worth up to $50 million each. #

Ohanian Comment:

When the Feds hand out $650 million of our taxpayer dollars, shouldn't someone try to hold them accountable? This time the money is distributed in the name of innovation. So what do the Feds mean by innovation? Who knows? All I know is that KIPP and Teach for America got lots of money. Below are the participating foundations willing to cough up the 20% required by the Feds. We see a lot of familiar names, names that need no introduction. I have provided information on a few. Don't interpret lack of information on others as meaning anything other than than I ran out of time. I wish I had a team of researchers, but the sorry fact is that I'm one person, acting alone.

The question remains: What on earth does the US Department of Education mean by "innovation?" Who is out there to ask this question? Certainly our press has proved themselves incapable of investigating much of anything about the Obama/Duncan assault on public education.

Arizona Community Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Carnegie Corporation of New York

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

CityBridge Foundation

Communities Foundation of Texas

Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation

Doris and Donald Fisher Fund

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Ford Foundation

Golden Leaf Foundation

Greater Texas Foundation

J.P. Morgan Private Bank, Philanthropic Services

Jessie B. Cox Trust

KDK-Harman Foundation

Laura and John Arnold Foundation

Lumina Foundation

Michael and Susan Dell Foundation

Nellie Mae Education Foundation

Oak Foundation
There must be a story here, but I don't know what it is.

Robertson Foundation

From their website:
Exemplary of the Foundation's two-pronged approach is our early and substantial investment in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's and Chancellor Joel Klein's Children First reform agenda, while simultaneously supporting the expansion of New York City charter schools. More information on the Children First agenda can be found at http://schools.nyc.gov/Administration/Childrenfirst/default.htm.

The Foundation was a founder and remains an active supporter of The New York City Center for Charter School Excellence, created in 2004 as a partnership between New York City and the philanthropic community. The Center was designed "to stimulate the supply of high quality charter schools and support ongoing student excellence in all NYC charter schools, impacting the effectiveness of public education." The Robertson Foundation provides both organizational leadership and financial support for the launch and operation of this new venture.

Robin Hood Foundation
Hey. Gwyneth Paltrow is on the Board of Directors.

SeaChange Capital Partners

SeaChange Capital Partners was founded by Charles Harris and Robert Steel, former Partners of Goldman Sachs who are experienced in philanthropy. They did so with the encouragement of John Whitehead, who was Goldman Sachs' Co-Chairman.

SeaChange received backing from Goldman Sachs, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Omidyar Network, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Surdna Foundation, and from individual funders.

Stupski Foundation

Target Foundation

The Abell Foundation

The Baltimore Curriculum Project (BCP) was founded in January 1996 by Dr. Muriel Berkeley and Abell Foundation President Robert C. Embry, Jr. They implemented Direct Instruction in the Baltimore City schools. Guess who was the manager of the grant program for Direct Instruction funded by the Abell Foundation, putting DI into 18 elementary schools in Baltimore was. Just guess. Chris Doherty, who later gained infamy as the director of Reading First who called proponents of other programs "dirt bags." And worse.

After funding Direct Instruction for five years in Baltimore, the Abell Foundation called uncle:

Beginning with six pilot schools and eventually expanding to 18, implementation proved extremely difficult, for the same reasons that plague most school reform efforts: high teacher turnover, constant external demands that distract schools from focusing on instruction, weak commitment by school leadership, and the often intractable social and academic deficits typically found in children raised in poverty. Though there were some bright spots, all of these factors led to only incremental progress in student achievement in the project's first four years.
Source: http://www.abell.org/abellprograms/baltimore.html

NOTE: They blame teachers, administrators, the children, poverty. Not a word about the curriculum.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation

The Broad Foundation

The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The Kern Family Foundation

The Kern Family Foundation is committed to preserving the traditions of free enterprise, technical leadership, ordered liberty and good character that have enabled the American nation to thrive intellectually, economically and culturally.

Go to the website and you can read about the Foundation's support of Teach for America.

The Meyer Foundation

The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation

They fund Achievement First, who explains what they do:

Our Instruction

* Bite-sized, measurable, standards-aligned classroom aims: Every class has a bite-sized, measurable and standards-aligned daily objective. Whether the aim is to predict the plot of a novel or simplify fractions, the aim drives the content in the lesson. Using multiple forms of assessments, teachers track their students' mastery of the aim and progress toward their ambitious academic goals.

The Rainwater Charitable Foundation
According to their website, they support KIPP and Teach for America, and others.

The Wallace Foundation

Prior to joining the Wallace Foundation, the director of education headed the Illinois Business Roundtable's education efforts.

The Walmart Foundation

In Contrast with the Gates Foundation, which gave $5,000 to the Salvation Army, and nothing to other organizations of that type, the Walmart Foundation has a diverse string of recipients (unlike the Walton Family Foundaton). Their longstanding partners are: The Red Cross, Feeding America, The Salvation Army, Children's Miracle Network, United Way International.

That said, where the "innovation" comes in, isn't clear.

The Walton Family Foundation


* Public Charter School
* School Choice
* School District Improvement
* Arkansas Education

The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

Tiger Foundation
Tiger Foundation was established in 1989 by Julian H. Robertson, Jr., Chairman of Tiger Management LLC, a hedge fund based in New York City.

Victoria Foundation

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation

Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Press Release

Nation's Boldest Education Reform Plans to Receive Federal Innovation Grants Once Private Match Is Secured

Public Affairs, (202) 401-1576, press@ed.gov

A cross-section of 49 school districts, nonprofit education organizations and institutions of higher education have been selected from among nearly 1,700 applicants for potential funding under the Investing in Innovation (i3) program. To receive a share of the $650 million in i3 grants, the winning applicants must secure a commitment for a 20 percent private sector match by Sept. 8.

"All across America, innovative entrepreneurs are finding solutions to our most pressing educational challenges," said Duncan. "i3 will support creative thinkers who test good ideas and take proven approaches to scale so that more children can benefit."

The Education Department selected these 49 proposals based on recommendations from independent peer review panels. Grants fall into three categories: up to $50 million per "scale-up" grant for programs with a strong track record of success; up to $30 million per "validation" grant for growing programs with emerging evidence of success; and up to $5 million per "development" grant for promising ideas. Winning applicants will serve 42 states and 2 territories with more than half intending to serve students with disabilities and limited English proficient students and 37 percent intending to serve rural school districts.

According to Jim Shelton, assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement, "We were really struck by the number of high quality applicants and winners who were not among the usual suspects."

The i3 fund, which is part of the historic $10 billion investment in school reform in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will support local efforts to start or expand research-based innovative programs that help close the achievement gap and improve outcomes for high-need students. The competition was open to school districts as well as nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education working in partnership with public schools. Applicants were required to demonstrate their previous success in closing achievement gaps, improving student progress toward proficiency, increasing graduation rates, or recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers and principals.

Today's selected applicants must secure a commitment for the required 20 percent private-sector match by Sept. 8, 2010. These applicants can take advantage of tools such as the Open Innovation Portal (innovation.ed.gov) and the Foundation Registry i3 (foundationregistryi3.org) to connect with a wide variety of potential funders.

A detailed list of the 2010 Highest-Rated i3 Applicants, along with a summary of the characteristics of the 2010 Highest-Rated Applicants, and FAQs related to today's announcement can be found here. Later today, the department will also post reviewers' comments and scores for all of the 2010 highest-rated i3 applicants, as well as application narratives for the highest-rated scale-up applicants on this site.

In order to continue to support innovation and evidence based practices, a summit will be held in November, 2010 for other promising applicants that were not among the applicants selected today. The department plans to highlight these high quality programs at a forum at which potential funding partners may support efforts that the department is unable to directly support at this time. This list of promising applicants and the details of the event will be announced in the coming weeks.

The administration has requested an additional $500 million in funding for this program in FY 2011. Additional rounds of funding may offer applicants that were not selected and other potential grantees additional time to strengthen their models and build their evidence bases, supporting a continued cycle of innovation and evaluation.

i3 2010 Highest-Rated Applications1

KIPP Foundation -- Research, Design & Innovation
Success as the Norm: Scaling-Up KIPP's Effective Leadership Development Model

Ohio State University -- Office of Sponsored Programs
Reading Recovery: Scaling Up What Works

Success for All Foundation
Scale-Up and Evaluation of Success for All in Struggling Elementary Schools

Teach For America
Scaling Teach for America: Growing the Talent Force to Ensure All Our Nation's Students Have Access to a Quality Education

ASSET Inc. (Achieving Student Success through Excellence in Teaching)
ASSET Regional Professional Development Centers for Advancing STEM Education

Children's Literacy Initiative
Children's Literacy Initiative's Model Classroom Innovation for Raising Teaching Quality and Increasing Student Literacy

Council for Opportunity in Education
Using Data to Inform College Access Programming in the 21st Century High School (Using DICAP)

George Mason University
Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA)

Johns Hopkins University -- Center for Social Organization of Schools
Validating the Talent Development-Diplomas Now Secondary School Turnaround Model

New Schools for New Orleans
Scaling The New Orleans Charter Restart Model

Niswonger Foundation
Northeast Tennessee College and Career Ready Consortium

Parents as Teachers National Center
Improving Educational Outcomes for American Indian Children

President and Fellows of Harvard College -- Graduate School of Education
Project READS: Using Data to Promote Summer Reading and Close the Achievement Gap for Low-SES Students in North Carolina

School District No. 1 of the City and County of Denver, State of Colorado
Collaborative Strategic Reading Colorado (CSR-CO)

Smithsonian Institution -- National Science Resources Center, LASER
The LASER Model: A Systemic and Sustainable Approach for Achieving High Standards in Science Education

The Curators of the University of Missouri -- eMINTS National Center, Academic Affairs
eMINTS Validation Project

The New Teacher Project, Inc.
Teacher Effectiveness and Certification Initiative (TEACh Initiative)

Utah State University -- Center for Persons with Disabilities
New Mexico K-3 Plus Extended School Year Validation Study

WestEd -- Teacher Professional Development Program
Scaling Up Content-Area Academic Literacy in High School English Language Arts, Science and History Classes for High Needs Students

Advancement Through Opportunity and Knowledge -- Children Youth and Family Collaborative
District-wide program development, expansion and evaluation of the Education Pilot Project (EPP) for foster youth and preparation for

The list goes on for two more pages

— Press Release
US Department of Education




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