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The U.S. Department of Education’s i3 Fund is designed to provide competitive grants that expand the implementation of innovative and evidence-based programs that significantly: (1) improve K-12 achievement and close achievement gaps; (2) decrease dropout rates; (3) increase high school graduation rates; and (4) improve teacher and school leader effectiveness. The Fund also aims to accelerate the creation of an education sector that supports the rapid development and adoption of effective solutions. Eligible applicants are either local education agencies or non-profits in collaboration with local education agencies or a consortium of schools. $650 million has been appropriated for the fund under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
College Summit’s Public Affairs team, as part of its continuing efforts to advocate on behalf of college enrollment and college proficiency issues, submitted a comment during the public comment period for the draft i3 Guidelines. Our two main points were:
1. It is unwise to continue to measure “student achievement” by the assessments created in response to “No Child Left Behind.” Success measures, such as college enrollment and proficiency, must be included as well.
2. The Recovery Act, under which i3 has been created, focuses on college-going as an important tool to achieve economic recovery. The i3 Fund must align its goals with this recognition.
View College Summit’s submission.
A number of other organizations, including the Gates Foundation, Citizen Schools, College Forward, the Cato Institute, and the Center for American Progress, submitted comments that broadly aligned with our own public comment.
We were pleased to see that the U.S. Department of Education took notice of these recurring themes of postsecondary attainment. The final i3 guidelines, released in March 2010, acknowledge the importance of college-going, and now permit applicants to use college enrollment and college retention increases as proof of program effectiveness. We thank and applaud the Department of Education for recognizing the connection between high school attainment and college-going.
Feature article focuses on Peer Leaders and their role in building college-going culture
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In Their Words is a collection of some of the best student essays from our first ten years.