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Posts Tagged ‘innovation grants’

ED Stakeholders Forum: Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, and SFSF Phase II

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education hosted the second in a series of monthly Education Stakeholders Forums, where they share updates and information about timely education issues with representatives from schools, organizations, state and local governments, and other interested individuals.  This month’s forum focused on the Race to the Top funds, the Investing in Innovation grants, and the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Part II requirements.

Deputy Secretary Tony Miller reiterated that all of these programs will take into account efforts to address the Department’s four reform areas — standards and assessments, effective teachers, data systems, and struggling schools — when considering grant applications.

Joanne Weiss, Director of the Race to the Top Program, explained that states will have two opportunities to apply for funding – once in the fall of 2009 and once in the spring of 2010.  This gives states who do not win a grant in during the first application period to apply again next year.  States that win a grant will not be eligible to apply during the second application period.  She also outlined the proposed priorities for applicants which were released in the Federal Register last week.

Jim Shelton, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement, spoke about the Investing in Innovation grants.  The key design principles for these grants include: outcomes, evidence, learning, sustainability, and scalability.

Ann Whalen, Special Assistant to the Secretary, reviewed the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Phase II reporting requirements.  These proposed metrics include 3 descriptors and 30 indicators in the categories of Equity in Teacher Distribution (8), Improving Collection and Use of Data (2), Standards and Assessments (14), and Support for Struggling Schools (9).  More information on these proposed requirements can be found in last week’s Federal Register.

The Department also provided stakeholders with a concise summary of all of the ED ARRA grants, which you can read here.

By Nancy in Public Policy
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ED releases ARRA grant applications, more to come

Monday, July 27th, 2009

The Education Department July 24 released draft language for its $4.35 billion centerpiece education reform grant program, among others; and announced its plans to soon follow up with guidance and applications for the remaining federal grants under the FY 2009 and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.
The language in the programs’ guidance and applications establish the expectations and parameters in which the education community, including CTE, must adhere to in order to compete for the unprecedented amount of funding the Obama Administration is injecting into the education system over the next several years. Stakeholders speculate that the language will reflect a framework for the Obama Administration’s plans for the reauthorization of the No Child left Behind Act.
President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the draft application for the Race to the Top Fund via a live Web cast today. The public has 30 days to comment on the fund’s proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria. ED plans to offer grants in two phases. Phase one will open late in calendar year 2009. Phase two will open in late spring 2010.
ED also released applications for the $315 million from the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems program, which would fund states that expand data systems to track students’ achievement from pre-K through postsecondary and link their achievement to teachers and principals. Applications for these funds are being posted today.
Finally, ED also published proposed requirements, definitions, and approval criteria for Phase two of the $48 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, which permits states to apply funding to some education-related use. Phase two provides access to $12 billion, the remaining amount offered to states after phase one. The public has 30 days to comment on the proposal.
In coming weeks, ED said it will publish draft regulations on the:
•$650 million Investing in Innovation Fund, which supports partnerships among school districts and nonprofits to launch or expand research-based innovative programs that help close the achievement gap and improve academic achievement overall.
•$297 million Teacher Incentive Fund, which targets programs in which states and districts create or expand performance pay and teacher advancement models that reward teachers and principals for increases in student achievement and the number of effective educators working with traditionally underperforming students.
•$3.5 billion Title I School Improvement Grants. ED would support states’ efforts in reform efforts implemented in struggling schools and that focus on implementing turnaround models in the lowest-performing schools. Secretary Duncan set a goal of turning around the bottom 5 percent of schools in the next five years.
•$919 million State Educational Technology Grants, which could be used to bring technology equipment into the classroom.
ED will host a Webinar 2 p.m. today to review ARRA programs funded through ED. Public is welcome to participate. Registration is required.

By Erin in Legislation, Public Policy
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