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Knowledge From the Field

Supporting and Scaling Change: Lessons From the First Round of the Investing in Innovation (i3) Program

Published: July 2011

Publisher(s): Bellwether Education Partners

Author(s): Smith, Kim; Julie Petersen

Funder(s): Rockefeller Foundation

View Report (77 pages; 461KB; PDF)

Supporting and Scaling Change: Lessons from the First Round of the Investing in Innovation (i3) Program

Area of Focus: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act


Based on surveys, interviews, and a review of publicly available information, the report assesses the initial round of the i3 initiative and its impact on the innovation ecosystem in education. The report examines the design and intent of the program, how it was implemented, progress made and opportunities missed, and public-private partnerships.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

=The i3 program pushed the innovation landscape forward by directing attention to the need for more innovation in education, by establishing stages of innovation and requiring evidence based on student outcomes across all stages, by emphasizing the importance of scale as a goal for innovation, and by encouraging connections across sectors.

=The programís eligibility requirements, peer review process, and selection criteria favored established organizations, made it unlikely to identify the most promising early-stage innovations, and excluded virtually all for-profit providers.

=Selection, support, and accountability for the various types and stages of innovation must be differentiated.

=The private sector can and should take on greater risk in the earlier stages of innovation, and as products and approaches prove their merit for serving a larger scale of the public the burden of support should be shifted toward the public sector.

Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: Department of Education; Innovation; Investing in Innovation; i3; Public-Private Partnership; Public Education

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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