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Thirteen Groups Win i3 Awards, High School a Key Focus Area

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The U.S. Department of Education announced Friday that it has conditionally awarded $113 million to 13 organizations and school districts to work on a range of projects, with a heavy focus on high school.

The awards came in the latest round of the Investing in Innovation, better known as i3, grants. Those grants are given in three categories: development, which must show strong promise; validation, which must have "moderate" research proving its effectiveness, and scale-up, which must show "strong" evidence of effectiveness.

Here are the winners, which span 11 states and were chosen from a field of more than 400 applicants. Each one must secure matching funds from the private sector by December in order to finalize their awards. Until then, the grantees are referred to as "highest rated applicants."

i3.JPG

According to information on the Education Department's website, the National Math and Science Initiative won a highest-rated nod for a plan to expand its partnerships, aimed at building college readiness with a focus on STEM education. All three of the validation grants zero in on high school; they went to colleges or universities that want to bolster college readiness in high school, including one, to Jacksonville State University, in Alabama, that focuses on rural areas.

Among the development grants, The After-School Corporation has a project to bolster science learning among high-need middle school students, and McREL International plans to dive into the role identity plays in academic success. New Visions for Public Schools is going to work on a project to personalize common-core writing instruction, and the Center for Supportive Schools on one to put peer mentoring at the center of a project to improve high school outcomes and transitions in rural North Carolina.


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