As part of the federal stimulus enacted in February 2009, federal officials provided $650 million nationally for a new grant program called Investing in Innovation (or "i3"). The purpose of i3 is to develop and expand practices that show promise or have clearly demonstrated positive results in the following areas: improving student achievement, narrowing achievement gaps, increasing high school graduation rates, or increasing college enrollment and completion rates. Applicants could include school districts or nonprofit organizations in partnership with districts or a consortium of schools.
The program offers three types of grants, which the U.S. Department of Education describes roughly as follows:
Development - for high-potential and relatively untested practices, strategies, or programs that should be systematically studied. The maximum amount for each grant was $5 million.
Validation - for programs that show promise but for which there is currently only moderate evidence that they will have a statistically significant effect. With further study, the effect of the program may be substantial and important. Each grant could be as high as $30 million.
Scale-up - to facilitate substantial expansion of programs for which there is strong evidence that they will have a statistically significant effect in one or more of the areas listed above. The maximum amount for each grant was $50 million.
Based on a peer-review process, the U.S. Department of Education awarded 49 i3 grants nationwide in 2010. Eight California-based organizations secured funding, including six development, one validation, and one scale-up grant. Together, the state's winners will receive about $19.7 million per year. California's grantees are listed below.
Eight California-based organizations have won
Investing in Innovation ("i3") grants
Data: U.S. Department of Education