To deliver an excellent education to every child and to ensure U.S. global competitiveness, President Obama has set the goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. Though ambitious, this goal is attainable through bold reform and innovation spanning the education pipeline from early learning to college.
Last September, the Department funded 49 grantees, the first to be awarded grants under the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund grant program. Projects focus on addressing the needs of students in rural districts, early learners, students with disabilities, limited English proficient students, and college access for students. The videos below highlight three i3 projects, two validation grants (The Curators of the University of Missouri and ASSET) and one development grant (School Board of Miami-Dade County). These projects represent an emphasis on technology in the middle school classrooms, enhancing early learning instruction from pre-kindergarten to 3rd grade, and strengthening hands-on STEM instruction based on how students learn. Each featured project also contains a significant emphasis on the professional development of teachers. These grantees represent rural schools in Missouri and Pennsylvania, early learning teachers in Florida, and STEM teachers in Pennsylvania. Interviews were conducted at the i3 project directors meeting in January 2011 and exemplify some of the innovative work being pursued by i3 grantees around the country.