Chosen from a pool of nearly six hundred applicants, the finalists include one organization — the Old Dominion University Research Foundation — that is eligible for a "scale-up" grant of up to $25 million to expand a program that provides high-need middle school students with access to challenging math courses, Education Week reports. Five additional organizations are eligible for grants of up to $15 million to enhance programs with emerging evidence of success, while seventeen are eligible for grants of up to $3 million to further develop a promising idea. The finalists have until December 9 to secure from private-sector donors matching funds ranging from 5 percent to 15 percent of their award.
In the second round of the i3 competition, applicants were required to submit a proposal focused on one of five priority areas: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education; rural communities; teacher and principal effectiveness; standards and assessments; and low-performing schools. Competitive preference was given to applicants working to advance early-learning outcomes, college readiness, productivity or technology, and programs assisting students with disabilities and limited English proficient students.
"Investing in these vital innovations across the country has the potential to dramatically enhance learning and accelerate student performance and to do so cost-effectively," said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "This round of i3 grantees is poised to have real impact in areas of critical need, including STEM education and rural communities, on projects ranging from early childhood interventions to school turnaround models that will prepare more students for college and career."
For a complete list of finalists, visit the Department of Education Web site.