college- and career-ready standards. In participating states, the new tests will replace the current low-quality bubble tests with tests that are instructionally useful, measure whether students are mastering standards and on-track to college- and career-readiness, and present data to teachers, parents and students in ways that are clear, useful, and actionable. These tests will be designed from the outset to include students with disabilities and English learners, to ensure that they are appropriately assessed. 44 states and the District of Columbia are members of at least one consortium applying to the assessment competition. Those jurisdictions enroll 85 percent of the nation’s public school students.
The Obama Administration is working with Congress to secure another year of funding for Race to the Top, to fund additional states and/or districts willing to take on comprehensive and bold reforms to improve outcomes for students.
Investing in Innovation (i3)
The $650 million i3 program supports research-based innovative programs that help close achievement gaps and improve outcomes for high-need students. Nearly 1,700 applicants put forward innovations for consideration, and from this enormous outpouring of interest, the Obama Administration has identified 49 school districts, nonprofits, and institutions of higher education as recipients of funding under the Investing in Innovation fund. These grants will leverage an additional $130 million from the private sector to support innovative reforms.
The finalists that will receive the largest i3 grants to scale up their proven programs have established histories of raising the achievement of poor and minority children. These grants alone will serve almost 2 million low-income children.
The KIPP Foundation will train 1,000 principals to lead KIPP schools and other public schools. By 2018, almost 100,000 students will be enrolled in schools led by a principal trained under this program. An estimated 80 percent of those students will be from low-income families.
The Reading Recovery program will prepare a total of 3,750 new teachers to use its research-based, short-term literacy intervention. The program will focus on teachers in persistently low-performing schools that are scheduled to be turned around under the federal Title I program. By 2018, Reading Recovery teachers whose training was funded by i3 will be providing individualized tutoring to 90,000 students and small-group or classroom instruction to an additional 400,000.
The Success for All Foundation will expand its network of high-performing schools to 1,100 elementary schools, reaching 550,000 students in five years.
Teach for America will expand its teacher corps by 13,500 teachers, who will be teaching 850,000 low-income students per year.
Our Administration is working with Congress to secure another year of funding for i3, allowing it to identify and fund the expansion of additional effective strategies to raise achievement, particularly for poor and minority students.
School Improvement Grants
With $3.5 billion in Recovery Act funding and annual funds through the budget process, the Obama Administration is dedicating over $4 billion to challenge states and districts to implement bold reforms that will transform the 5,000 lowest-performing schools in America. Title I School Improvement Grants will provide up to $6 million per school over three years to dramatically transform these lowest-performing schools into safe environments where students are learning. As the school year begins, more than 500 schools across the country are already participating. In doing this difficult work, educators have many successful models to work from, including the Academy for Urban School Leadership schools in Chicago, the Mastery Charter schools in Philadelphia, Locke High School in Los Angeles, George Hall Elementary School in Mobile, Alabama, and West Carter Middle School in Olive Hill, Kentucky.