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49 Applicants Win 'i3' Grants

The U.S. Department of Education—a day earlier than it had intended—today mistakenly unveiled on its website the 49 winning applicants for the Investing in Innovation, or i3, fund. These ranked the highest of 1,698 entries in a mad dash for $650 million in grants.

Four groups won scale-up awards worth up to $50 million, 15 won validation awards of up to $30 million, and 30 won development grants of up to $5 million. But there's a big caveat before these groups can cash in: They must secure their 20 percent private-sector match, unless they've gotten a waiver from the department, by Sept. 8 or they risk losing the grant. Waiver decisions are still pending. In addition, the department has to confirm that all winners met eligibility requirements: that they are who they said they are, that their official partners are in line, etc. Once all those ducks are in a row, then we'll know exactly how much each applicant won.

The Education Department had planned on releasing the winners tomorrow, but the winning applicants' score sheets were mistakenly published this afternoon on the department's own web site.

The four scale-up winners are: Teach for America, Ohio State University, KIPP Foundation, and the Success for All Foundation. For a snapshot of these proposals, and who they beat, check this out.

The validation winners are: Children's Literacy Initiative; The Curators of the University of Missouri - eMINTS National Center, Academic Affairs; George Mason University; ASSET (Achieving Student Success through Excellence in Teaching); Smithsonian Institution - National Science Resources Center, LASER; New Schools for New Orleans; The New Teacher Project; School District No. 1 of the City and County of Denver; Parents as Teachers National Center; President and Fellows of Harvard College Graduate School of Education; WestEd Teacher Professional Development Program; Johns Hopkins University - Center for Social Organization of Schools; Utah State University - Center for Persons with Disabilities; Council for Opportunity in Education; Niswonger Foundation.

The development winners are: Advancement Through Opportunity and Knowledge; Bellevue School District; AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation; Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools; American Federation of Teachers Educational Foundation; Bay State Reading Institute; Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee; Beaverton School District 48J; Board of Education of the City of New York Office of School of One; Boston Plan for Excellence in the Public Schools Foundation; Plymouth Public Schools; Los Angeles Unified School District; The Studio in a School Association, Inc.; Take Stock in Children; Saint Vrain Valley School District Priority Schools; The Achievement Network; Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools; Search Institute; National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform; School Board of Miami-Dade County, Fla.; Iredell-Statesville-Schools; California Education Round Table Intersegmental Coordinating Committee; New York City Department of Education; and the Jefferson County Board of Education. (UPDATE: Also, Forsyth County Schools in Georgia made the list. Thanks to the Politics K-12 reader who pointed out my omission!)

You can check out their scores, their project title, and whether they've secured their private-sector match on this document provided by the department.

The Education Department's innovation guru Jim Shelton told me just now that the number of winners in each category were arrived at using natural breaks in points. He also said that the winning applicants represent a broad section of the country, urban and rural, and represent many different parts of the curriculum, from the arts to STEM subjects. In addition, he said some of the winning applicants also focus on English-language learners and students with disabilities.

"The big story is we got great applicants from the field, and a great set of winners that cut across the country," he said.

The department says that winning applicants represent 23 states with more than half intending to serve students with disabilities and limited English proficient students and 37 percent intending to serve rural school districts.

To read more about their proposals, use the search function on the Education Department's user-friendly i3 web portal.

And of course, stay tuned here and at edweek.org for more about this breaking story.

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