Front Line Local School Districts Largely Left out of i3 Funding
(8/6/2010) (NEW HAVEN)— The list of awardees for the Investing in Innovation (i3) fund was announced Thursday by the United States Department of Education (USDOE) granting funding to 49 applicants. The list of recipients was predominately populated with non-profit organizations, research institutions and other organizations. Missing from the list were local school districts like New Haven that provide direct service to children and families.
“We were surprised to see that out of 49 awards that are meant to promote innovation in helping our children succeed, only a handful were local school districts,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “The vast majority of i3 grants were awarded to research institutions and organizations; not to the frontline providers of education like New Haven Public Schools.”
New Haven Public Schools submitted two i3 grant applications to further its nationally recognized School Change Initiative specifically seeking funding for the BOOST! IDS and TALENT components.
“The USDOE has bypassed local school districts. In the last two rounds of Race to the Top, funding was directed to states hindering local school districts from applying for or receiving the type of financial support needed to move valuable reform efforts forward,” said DeStefano.
“TALENT” is a system designed by the New Haven Public Schools, inspired by Achievement First, a high-performing Charter Management Organization, to increase the number of effective teachers and school leaders in its schools through effective coaching and evaluation and the use of student data to inform instruction.
BOOST! IDS is a data sharing and reporting component of School Change where information that improves communication and access among schools and partner agencies to magnify the impact of supportive wrap-around services on student achievement. BOOST! IDS will promote student achievement and contribute toward closing the achievement gap by: improving service coordination; facilitating access to services; improving service quality; making most efficient use of resources; and using data to leverage policy and systems change.
"I am very disappointed that New Haven was not selected for an i3 grant," said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3). "The education reform measures undertaken by the city, and heralded by this Administration as a model for the country, were undertaken with the expectation that the resources would be provided to implement them. Our public school students deserve better."
“Local school districts like the New Haven Public Schools are making inroads with progressive reforms but need the kind of federal support that i3 offers to ensure success for our students," said Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers.
“New Haven is committed to bringing reform in an urban school district to scale through our goals of closing the achievement gap, cutting the dropout rate in half and preparing our students to succeed in college,” said DeStefano.
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