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Native American English Learners Re-opened its Request for Information (RFI)

The U.S. Department of Education has now re-opened its request for information (RFI) on Native American English learners. The purpose of the RFI is to gather information pertaining to the identification and placement of Native American students who are English learners in language instruction educational programs.

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Announcing the 2011 Promise Neighborhoods Competition

Today, the U.S. Department of Education launched the 2011 Promise Neighborhoods program. This second phase of Promise Neighborhoods includes new implementation grants and a second round of planning grants. Nonprofits, institutions of higher education and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for the $30 million fund to develop or execute plans that will improve educational and developmental outcomes for students in distressed neighborhoods.

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i3 Pre-Applications Meetings Scheduled in DC, San Francisco and Houston

The Department has scheduled three pre-application meetings this month to provide technical assistance to interested applicants for all three types of i3 grants (Scale-up, Validation, and Development). On-site meetings will be held in Washington, DC on June 17; San Francisco, CA on June 24; and Houston, TX on June 28. Live webinars will also be available to potential applicants.  Registration is required for both the onsite meetings and the webinars.

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Seeking i3 Peer Reviewers

The Department is currently seeking peer reviewers for the FY 2011 i3 competition. If you are interested in serving as a peer reviewer, please read the FY 2011 i3 Call for Peer Reviewers. The information on this page describes the necessary qualifications and provides instructions for submitting your resume and the "i3 Peer Reviewer Checklist" by Friday, July 8.

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City-Based Charter School Efforts: A Growing Movement

Education reform leaders gathered in New Orleans last month for a one-day National Charter School Resource Center (Resource Center) conference titled "Transforming Urban Public Education: Exploring the Potential of City-Based Strategies."  The conference focused on building charter school support infrastructures that effectively coordinate stakeholders' activities, drive growth in high-quality charter schools, and foster the policy environment that facilitates the work.

Launching the FY2011 Investing in Innovation (i3) Competition

Today, the U.S. Department of Education launched the 2011 Investing in Innovation (i3) competition.This second round of i3 makes $150 million available to school districts and non-profit organizations to continue support of innovative approaches that significantly improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement, engagement and attainment.

In 2010, the i3 competition received an unprecedented response. Nearly 1,700 applicants vied for $650 million in funding, and 49 organizations received awards ranging from $3 million to $50 million dollars.

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Increasing Educational Productivity: Smart Ideas for Challenging Times

Sharing effective practices and strategies plays a smart role in helping to ensure that education dollars are spent efficiently and effectively, and can be particularly helpful to local and state leaders during tough fiscal times. With this in mind, the Office of Innovation and Improvement is launching Increasing Educational Productivity: Innovative Approaches & Best Practices, a collection of resources and examples on the school, district, and state strategies being implemented across the country to improve student achievement and maximize the impact of educational investments.

This work builds off of Education Secretary Arne Duncan's Smart Ideas to Increase Educational Productivity and Student Achievement, a document released to the nation's governors in March describing steps that states, districts, and schools can take to ensure that federal dollars support policies, practices, and programs with the greatest positive impact on students.

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OII Celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, and the Teacher Quality program office would like to highlight some of the OII programs that support high-quality teacher preparation and professional development.

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Why Use Transmedia in Early Learning?

A recent evaluation report on the Ready to Learn (RTL) program reveals that young children's learning is enhanced by educational media, particularly when it is used in combination, such as educational television supplemented by complementary media like websites, games, or even print. As a result, RTL, in its latest round of grants, is pursuing the idea of combining media even further by supporting "transmedia" strategies, a term borrowed from digital media theorist Henry Jenkins to describe narrative storytelling that uses different media platforms to advance the story and to create ever-larger fictional worlds of characters and events.

OII Arts-Integration Grantees Share Evidence of Effectiveness

Here's a test question: What increases elementary students' proficiencies on math and language arts tests, engages them in ways that direct instruction does not, and motivates them – even to the point of not wanting to go home even when they are sick? The answer: The arts integrated with other core academic subjects such as math and English language arts, according to the evaluation results of the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) Grants.

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