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i3 Scale-up and Validation Competitions Commence

This morning, the Department of Education announced the release of the Notices Inviting Applicants to the i3 program’s competition in the Scale-up and Validation categories.

Earlier this spring, the Department began the 2013 i3 competition with the release of the Notice of Final Priorities and the Notice Inviting Applicants to submit pre-applications for the Development category. Nearly 600 pre-applications were received.

Potential applicants for the Scale-up and Validation categories have until July 2, 2013, to submit an application. Click here for more information about the i3 program and competition.

Ready to Learn Grantee Launches Research-Based Digital Education Resources for Preschoolers

Children pilot the “At the Beach” Pocoyo PlaySet at Kingsbridge Community Center in the Bronx, N.Y. (Photo courtesy of HITN's Early Learning Collaborative)The Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network’s (HITN) Early Learning Collaborative (ELC) is piloting tablet-based “playsets” designed to provide fun and engaging learning experiences for young children as they develop English language, reading, and math skills. The playsets, which are available as apps for iPads, use a combination of activities, including interactive games and storybooks, sing-along songs, and a word machine, to help close the achievement gap between economically advantaged and disadvantaged children.

The playsets feature Pocoyo, an internationally recognized preschool character created by Zinkia Entertainment, a partner of HITN in the development of the playset applications. Research during the pilot phase will assess the educational efficacy of these digital products before their commercial release, expected in late 2013. The Michael Cohen Group (MCG) is conducting ongoing formative research during the piloting phase as well as large-scale summative studies of the playsets. The development of the Pocoyo PlaySets will be also be guided by feedback from more than 25 pilot sites in New York, Alabama, Maine, Florida, and California.

When Charter Schools and Non-Chartered Schools Work Together: A Grant to Encourage Collaboration

Charter schools were originally created to serve as labs of innovation, developing best practices, and then sharing them widely to improve the work of all students.”

                     —  Shannah Varon, executive director, Boston Collegiate Charter School

The Charter School Exemplary Collaboration Award, a National Activities grant-award competition in the Charter Schools Program (CSP), is designed to provide just what Ms. Varon describes – an opportunity for high-quality charter schools with innovative ideas and a history of results to share their promising practices with non-chartered public schools and districts. The Collaboration Awards, funded for the first time in 2012, are grounded in a belief that trust and teamwork between high-quality charter schools and non-chartered public schools will accelerate educational excellence in all public schools. Additionally, successful joint ventures between schools can vary in their structures and objectives, while still remaining focused on the goal of strengthening a community and its schools.

Office of Innovation and Improvement Begins 2013 Investing in Innovation Competition

On Wednesday, March 27, 2013, the Department of Education announced the start of the 2013 Investing in Innovation (i3) grant program competition. The Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for the pre-application process for the Development category and the Notice of Final Priorities for the overall i3 program were published the same day in the Federal Register.

The Department’s Office of Innovation and Improvement and the i3 team are looking forward to a successful competition, beginning with the pre-application process for the Development competition, to be followed by the announcement of the Validation and Scale-up competitions later this spring. This year’s competition includes a few changes from previous i3 competitions that are designed to incorporate lessons learned from the first three years, while maintaining the dual goals of supporting new innovations and scaling effective ones.

Secretary Duncan Announces Seventeen 2012 Promise Neighborhoods Winners in School Safety Address

(December 21, 2012) U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced 17 winners of the 2012 Promise Neighborhoods $60 million grant fund during a school safety speech at Neval Thomas Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

“Children must be safe, healthy, and supported by adults across an entire community to reach their fullest potential,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Against all odds, Promise Neighborhoods work to provide families and children with the support they need to help break the cycle of poverty that threatens too many of our nation’s communities.”

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October 1, 2012

Education Department Announces $11 Million for 40 Additional Upward Bound Projects to Help Students Access and Succeed in Higher Education

The U.S. Department of Education announced its second set of awards for 40 Upward Bound projects, which will help close to 3,000 students acquire the knowledge and skills they need to access and succeed in college. They are designed to increase both the high school graduation and college completion rates of low-income, first-generation students.

September 28, 2012

Department Awards $14.3 Million for 51 Grants to Boost Veterans’ Success in Higher Education

Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced the award of $14,392,377 for 51 Veterans Upward Bound projects, which will help some 6,831 veterans acquire the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in college.

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October 1, 2012

$24 Million in Grants Awarded to 22 States to Improve Training Systems to Help Children with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education announced today the award of $24 million in grants to 22 states to improve personnel training systems to help children with disabilities.

September 28, 2012

Education Department Awards $3.4 Million in McNair Grants to Help Disadvantaged Undergrads Obtain Doctoral Degrees

The U.S. Department of Education today announced 15 grants totaling more than $3.4 million to institutions in a dozen states to help disadvantaged undergraduate students obtain doctoral degrees.

September 28, 2012

$9 Million in Grants Awarded to Institutions in 21 States and D.C. for Special Education Personnel Preparation Programs

The U.S. Department of Education today announced the award of $9 million for 38 grants to institutions of higher education to train educators to improve the services and results for children with disabilities.

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