• Letter of Support for the Education Innovation and Research Program

    October 20, 2016

    The Honorable Roy Blunt
    Chair, Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education & Related Agencies
    U.S. Senate
    Washington, DC 20510

    The Honorable Tom Cole
    Chair, Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education & Related Agencies
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    The Honorable Patty Murray
    Ranking Member, Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education & Related Agencies U.S. Senate
    Washington, DC 20510

    The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
    Ranking Member, Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education & Related Agencies U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    Dear Senator Blunt, Senator Murray, Representative Cole, and Representative DeLauro:

    We are writing to urge you to include $120 million for the Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Grants program (the successor to the Investing in Innovation (i3) Grants program) in any final agreement on the fiscal year 2017 Federal budget.

    We believe EIR will drive substantial and lasting improvements in student achievement by supporting the development, validation, and scale-up of successful innovations at the state and local levels. EIR uses a tiered-evidence approach that has two important design principles: it provides more funds to programs with higher levels of evidence, and it requires rigorous and independent evaluations so that programs continue to improve. By prioritizing approaches proven to work, the grants are more likely to achieve greater impact. The requirement to evaluate results provides a basis to improve programs all along the spectrum of effectiveness. In addition, we believe the EIR program has the potential to drive private sector investment in innovations that continue to improve outcomes for students and families.

    EIR is especially important given the emphasis of the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on policies and practices that are informed by evidence. By providing flexible funding for a broad range of field-driven projects and allowing states, school districts, non-profits, and businesses to partner together to develop and grow innovative programs, projects funded by EIR will not only contribute to the production of actionable, proven interventions in a given community or population, but will generate an evidence base that can be adapted to inform practices and funding decisions for states and school districts across the country.

    The EIR provision was introduced during the Senate markup of ESSA as a bipartisan amendment by Senators Hatch and Bennett, and it was adopted by voice vote. The provision was modeled after the successful Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program that was created by Congress in 1982, reauthorized and expanded with overwhelming bipartisan support in 1992, 2000, and 2011, and is now funded at over $2 billion per year across 11 federal agencies. EIR would apply the successful SBIR approach in the field of social spending. Moreover, the House Republicans’ Task Force on Poverty, Opportunity, & Upward Mobility’s A Better Way blueprint for reforming social programs, recently released by Speaker Ryan, includes support for tiered evidence programs, of which EIR is an example.

    We believe that funding for education innovation is imperative to prepare the next generation to explore the universe, cure diseases, and engineer new solutions to all kinds of challenges and will help states, districts, educators, families, and communities prepare each young person for success in college, career, and citizenship.

    Sincerely,

    Achievement Network (MA) AdvancED
    After-School All-Stars
    Alliance College Ready Public Schools Alumni Revolution
    America Forward
    America’s Promise Alliance
    Annemarie Hindman, Associate Professor, Temple University AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation
    ASCD
    Aspire University
    ASSET STEM Education
    Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
    Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School
    Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School
    BARR Center
    Boston Plan for Excellence
    Cabarrus County Schools
    CABE—California Association for Bilingual Education
    Californians Together
    CASA
    Center for Research and Reform in Education, Johns Hopkins University Citizen Schools
    City Year, Inc.
    College Possible
    Colorado Succeeds
    Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now (ConnCAN)
    Democracy Builders
    Democrats for Education Reform
    EDGE Consulting LLC
    Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, Penn State University EdPartners
    Educate Texas
    Education Analytics
    Education Development Center
    Education Northwest
    Education Reform Now
    eMINTS National Center, University of Missouri College of Education Empirical Education Inc.
    Erikson Institute
    FHI 360
    Forum for Youth Investment
    Hatchuel Tabernik & Associates
    Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
    Higher Achievement
    IDEA Public Schools
    IMPAQ International, LLC
    Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA)
    KIPP Foundation
    Knowledge Alliance
    Knowledgeworks

    Leading Educators
    Learning Forward
    Literacy Design Collaborative
    Lynn Cominsky, Ph.D., Sonoma State University Maricopa County Education Service Agency (MCESA) Marzano Research
    Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education
    McREL International
    Montgomery County Schools (NC)
    National Center for Learning Disabilities
    National Center for Teacher Residencies
    National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives National Writing Project
    New Classrooms Innovation Partners for Learning New Leaders
    New Schools for New Orleans
    New Teacher Center
    New Visions for Public Schools New York Hall of Science
    NWEA
    NYC Leadership Academy Ossining Union Free School District Ounce of Prevention Fun
    Parents as Teachers
    Partners for Education at Berea College
    Results for America
    RMC Research Corporation
    RTI International
    Search Institute
    Seneca Family of Agencies
    Southern New Hampshire University
    Spurwink Services
    Success for All Foundation
    Teach for America
    Teach Plus
    Tennessee State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) The Children’s Aid Society
    The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
    The Policy & Research Group
    Thomas R. Kratochwill, PhD, Psychologist, Wisconsin
    TNTP (The New Teacher Project)
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    Waterford
    WestEd

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