On August 3, 111 organizations, including Results for America and our partners at Knowledge Alliance and the Success for All Foundation, submitted a letter to the U.S. Senate and House Appropriations Committees urging them to restore funding for the Investing in Innovation (i3) program.
i3 uses a tiered-evidence approach to making grants at the U.S. Department of Education. It has two important design principles: it provides more funds to programs with higher levels of evidence, and it requires rigorous and independent evaluations so that programs continue to improve. By prioritizing approaches proven to work, the grants are more likely to achieve greater impact. The requirement to evaluate results provides a basis to improve programs all along the spectrum of effectiveness.
There is bipartisan support for a federal investment in education innovation. S. 1177, The Every Child Achieves Act, was passed by the Senate on July 16, 2015 by a vote of 81 to 17, and it authorizes an evidence-based innovation fund. This program, modeled on the successful Small Business Innovation Research program, would provide flexible funding for a broad range of field-driven projects and allow schools, districts, non-profits, and small businesses to develop and grow innovative programs to improve student achievement. Grants would be awarded using a tiered evidence framework based on an applicant’s effectiveness.