Panel: Building Evidence on Effective Educational Interventions: Lessons from the Investing in Innovation Fund

Thursday, November 8, 2018: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
Marriott Balcony B - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chairs:  Rachel McCormick, Abt Associates, Inc.
Discussants:  Barbara Goodson, Abt Associates, Inc.

Summary of the Evidence Produced By i3
Beth Boulay, Project Evident

Heroes (Helping Early Readers Obtain Excellence in Special Education
Jerome V. D'agostino, The Ohio State University

SPARK: Building Evidence across Succeeding Evaluations
Curtis Jones, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

The goal of the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund was to build the evidence base on effective educational interventions. Established in 2009, i3 has awarded over $1.4 billion to 172 grantees to implement and evaluate interventions with varied amounts of prior evidence of effectiveness. Larger grants were awarded for interventions with the strongest prior evidence of effectiveness and smaller grant to interventions with little or no prior evidence.

All grantees were required to conduct an independent evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of the funded intervention, and to make the findings from those evaluations publicly available. Grantees and their evaluators received support from and reported the findings to the i3 Technical Assistance and Evaluation Project, which 1) provided support for planning and conducting strong evaluations and 2) assessed the strength of and summarized the findings from the evaluations.

The goals of this panel are to: 1) summarize the strength of and findings from the i3 evaluations completed by May 2017, 2) describe the evidence building process for i3 grantees, and 3) to discuss lessons learned about the factors that help or hinder ongoing evidence building both during and after the grant period.

The first paper will summarize findings from the i3 Technical Assistance and Evaluation Project report which summarizes the evidence produced by the early cohorts of i3. The paper will discuss how grantees, third party evaluators, the evaluation technical assistance provider, and ED partnered to build evidence on effective educational interventions.

Three additional papers will discuss evidence building from the perspective of grantees, each of whom will address the following questions:

  • How would you describe the evolution of the evidence base for your intervention from the time you submitted your i3 application until the completion of the required evaluation?
  • What did you learn about evidence building from your experience with i3?
    • Did you engage in evidence building activities that you may not have were it not for the grant?
    • Were the evidence building activities well aligned with your evidence building goals or were there activities you pursued (or wanted to pursue) that were outside of the grant requirements?
  • What evidence building activities are being sustained after the i3 funding?
    • On what questions will your continued evidence building activities focus?
    • What types of partnerships have your formed to support ongoing evidence building?
    • What challenges do you face to ongoing evidence building?
  • What is the larger context for evidence building and your organization? That is, for what purposes and for what audiences are you continuing to build evidence?

The panel discussant will integrate the experiences of the grantees and the grant program to offer suggestions for how to maximize the evidence building potential of federal funding while balancing the need for innovation and improvement to produce impacts for students, families, teachers and schools.

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